Leading Gunmaker Boosts Production, Still Can’t Meet Surging Demand

One of the nation’s largest gunmakers has massively ramped up production to meet demand but the company can’t produce them fast enough, The Washington Free Beacon reports.

Sturm, Ruger & Company, better known by the shortened name Ruger, said Wednesday it is experiencing a period of “unprecedented demand,” which helped send sales and profits soaring in the third quarter.

The company, headquartered in Connecticut but with a major facility in Newport, NH, increased production 50 percent over last year, including a 15 percent surge in the second and third quarter of 2020 alone, according to an earnings report released Wednesday.

Even with increased production, Ruger’s gun inventory remains “near historic lows” due to record demand, said CEO Christopher Killoy.

“Consumer demand showed no signs of letting up during the quarter,” he said, because of “concerns about personal protection and home defense” caused by “civil unrest,” activists’ calls to defund the police, and “the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.”

However, the demand surge didn’t lead to a hiring surge, the company suspended hiring from March until June as it tried to figure out how to step up production while maintaining the health and safety of its workers during the coronavirus pandemic. Since then, the company has hired 50 employees bringing the total to 1,600 between it’s three facilities.

The company believes limited supply restrained its record-level sales over the last few months. The company expects demand to continue surging through the rest of the year.

The demand has already led to massive revenue increases for the company. It reported a nearly $100 million jump in sales over the first nine months of 2020 as compared to 2019. That jump added up to $399.6 million in sales over that time, nearly tripling the company’s earnings per share, The Washington Free Beacon Reports.

Ruger is one of only two publicly traded American gun companies. Its public reports to investors provide some of the best insight into how gun companies are handling the record demand for guns and coronavirus precautions. The other publicly traded company, Smith & Wesson, has seen similar sales and production spikes over the past several months.

Killoy attributed the “staggering increase” for “personal protection and home defense stemming from continuing Covid-19 pandemic; protests, demonstrations and civil unrest in many cities throughout the United States and lastly, the call by some for the reduction in funding and authority of various law enforcement organizations.”

The demand for guns is expected to rise again this fall because of both the holiday season and the presidential election, in which Democratic candidate Joe Biden has pushed for strict new gun-control measures.

About Catherine Smith

Catherine Smith is a newcomer to Washington D.C. She met and married an American journalist and moved to D.C. from the U.K. She graduated with a B.A. in Graphics, Media, and Communications and worked in design and retail in the U.K.

Photo: (Photo by Bridget Bennett for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

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