Sturm, Ruger Is Hiring Engineers As Guns Outstripped By Record Demand

Doug Spaulding, a Ruger firearms representative, instructs a woman in proper technique … [+] Holding a pistol at the National Rifle Association (NRA) annual meetings and exhibitions on April 14, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri. AFP PHOTO / Karen BLEIER (Photo credit should be KAREN BLEIER / AFP via Getty Images)

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Sturm, Ruger RGR, one of America’s best-known gun manufacturers, reported a 61% increase in net sales in the fourth quarter, including the election of President Biden, a Democrat with an aggressive gun control plan.

Sturm, Ruger reported that net sales were $ 169.26 million for the fourth quarter, compared to $ 105.13 million for the year-ago quarter. The company posted earnings growth of 38% to $ 568.86 million for 2020 from $ 410.5 million in 2019.

Last year’s “historic surge” in sales had the potential to grow even bigger, but demand exceeded production last year resulting in “exhausted” inventory, said Chris Killoy, chief executive office, in a conversation with Analysts on Thursday.

“These [sales] The increases were likely limited due to limited inventory in the distribution channel, ”Killoy said. He said the company had accelerated hiring, hiring 250 more factory workers last year, with plans to continue hiring to rebuild inventory for 2021.

Sturm, Ruger currently has 35 open positions on its website in facilities in six states, primarily for engineering and other manufacturing roles. According to the CEO, the company has 1,800 employees.

Partly due to new hires, the company managed to increase production by 30% in the second half of 2020, Rommel Dionisio, an analyst at Aegis Capital, said in a statement to investors.

“Given the year-over-year increase in demand and backlog, the company has made significant progress in rapidly increasing its capacity to better meet that demand,” he said.

Last year was a record for gun sales across the industry. The Federal Bureau of Investigation performed 39.69 million background checks for weapons purchases in 2020. This is the largest annual record since the FBI began oversight in 1998. While background checks are not the same as arms sales, the federal background checks serve as the closest nationwide proxy. The strong sales continued through 2021.

Several factors have driven gun sales since the coronavirus pandemic hit America early last year. The main reasons for buying a gun, most commonly cited by gun dealers, are self protection and gun control.

Americans buy weapons for self-defense at a time of civil unrest and increasing crime. According to weapons dealers, new buyers, including women and seniors, are buying weapons for self-defense, especially small, compact, semi-automatic pistols that are easy to hide, like Ruger’s LCP range of pistols.

They’re also buying guns because Biden fears more restrictive gun control, especially with a split Senate and Vice President Kamala Harris as the trigger for potential legislation. The gun industry group, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, estimates that more than 8 million Americans bought guns for the first time since the pandemic began.

In his investor note, Dionisio said the choice of Biden “heightened consumer concern about the potential for tightening gun legislation in the near future, prompting consumers to purchase certain types of firearms, such as modern sporting rifles and high-capacity pistols, which they.” fear may soon be restricted. ”

The modern sporting rifle (MSR) is the gun industry’s preferred term for military-style semi-automatic rifles, which are referred to as assault weapons by gun control advocates. These rifles and semi-automatic pistols can use heavy duty magazines that can hold more than 10 cartridges. These types of weapons have been used in several mass shootings and are often the target of weapon control measures.

Biden’s comprehensive gun control plan includes a ban on the manufacture of assault rifles for civilian consumers and the removal of legal protections for arms manufacturers and dealers. On February 14, the third anniversary of a mass shooting that killed 17 students and faculty at Marjory Stoneham Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, Biden outlined his gun control plans.

“We will take steps to end our gun violence epidemic and make our schools and communities safer,” said Biden.

Sturm, Ruger is one of the most famous gun manufacturers in America, mainly competing with Smith & Wesson. Ruger, based in Southport, Connecticut, makes a variety of weapons, including self-defense pistols like the LCP, bolt action rifles like the Hawkeye, and assault rifles like the AR-556. The hunt got a boost during the pandemic when social distancing drove Americans to outdoor activities.

Other weapons manufacturers include Glock, Sig Sauer, Daniel Defense, CMMG, Standard Manufacturing and Remington, who filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for the second time in September and sold their Marlin Firearms brand to Sturm, Ruger.

Gun manufacturers, retailers and customers saw record demand and thin supply of firearms and ammunition in gun stores across the country. Mark Oliva, director of public affairs for the NSSF, said manufacturers were ramping up production as best they could while “unprecedented numbers that would have been incredible a year ago”. He said manufacturers have also operated under restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic.

“They were forced to work through COVID restrictions in factories to meet not only increased demand, but also COVID space restrictions and work schedules to avoid face-to-face contact,” he said.

Killoy said the company was hiring to maximize all production lines, especially for newly introduced products, and the company was offering $ 200 bonuses to workers vaccinated against Covid-19.

Going forward, the challenges of the coronavirus and demand will continue to put pressure on manufacturers to produce more weapons and ammunition. However, you need to weigh the cost of increasing capacity against the likelihood that demand will eventually decline.

According to Oliva, it is a challenge for manufacturers to accelerate production when they are already at peak performance.

“Manufacturers don’t have any extra equipment that they can use to tear off the plastic cover and turn on the lights,” said Oliva. “This type of expanded production takes years of investment, planning and resources.”

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