U.S. firearms patents are at a 35-year high with a record 370 issued just last year. As demand grows with new laws regarding concealed weapons and legislative talk on limiting sales, companies like Sturm Ruger and Smith & Wesson are swimming in sales.
Sturm Ruger saw a 66% increase in sales during the first three quarters of 2013, and roped in net sales of over $500 million in the just the first nine months. Smith & Wesson saw similar growth in sales, with profits increasing over 70%.
In the past year, more than 19 million background checks have been completed - a record number compared to the 9 million checks in 2005 and 12 million in 2008. Not only are sales up in general, but gun makers have seen an increase in sales of new firearms.
Smith & Wesson has been pushing innovative new products since the mid 1800s with guns like the first cartridge revolver, the Model 1, and the .357 Magnum, giving handguns a newfound power and range. Sturm Ruger has also pushed the envelope with new firearms like the LC380 pistol and the Ruger American Rimfire rifle.
Despite, or perhaps even because of, recent tragedies such as the Newtown, Connecticut shooting, gun sales are soaring- and not just for top industry leaders like those mentioned above. Just days following the Connecticut shooting, Hyatt Gun Store in Charlotte, North Carolina sold over one million products, a record number for single-day sales since it's opening in the late 1950s.
Others have had to set clear limits for consumers, like Gander Mountain's Gun World store in Milwaukee, which created a sign stating "Limit two assault rifles per day per customer." Black Friday gun sales in Virginia set a new high, totaling just over 3,900, and statewide sales continue to rise.
As sales continue to rise, many expect to see an even bigger increase in gun-related patents. This could mean that we'll be seeing more legal disputes, as well, as companies like Smith & Wesson and Sturm Ruger continue to bring new products to the forefront.