Evidence of declining gun ownership

The VPC says gun ownership is at the lowest point since 1985. I guess that explains why Wal-Mart is discontinuing gun sales at more stores:

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is quietly bringing back rifles, shotguns and ammunition to hundreds of U.S. stores as the hurting retail giant seeks to reinvigorate its one-stop shopping appeal and attract more male customers.

The world’s largest retailer stopped selling hunting rifles and bullets at all but a third of its U.S. stores five years ago, citing diminishing sales. It is now restoring them to hundreds of locations, bringing the total to nearly half of its more than 3,600 U.S. namesake stores…

Oh. Sorry. I got that wrong. Wal-Mart is bring gun sales back to stores it discontinued several years ago. Maybe the VPC is wrong too.

8 thoughts on “Evidence of declining gun ownership

  1. You know how you know when VPC is lying? If they put it in a press release, its a lie.

  2. “Me? Own a gun? Not that I know of. That NRA shirt I’m wearing is just what was in the drawer. All my guns got lost in a tragic boating accident. Yeah, that’s the ticket.”

  3. I am happy to say they never stopped here in Eastern TN… maybe this means they will start again in Kalifornistan.

    Be advised, however – WalMart videotapes all firearm transfers, and keeps those records indefinitely, which, if I recall, has come up in interesting places in the past…

  4. Though they do not carry a lot of things most of the manufacturers produce, they make quite a bit of money on firearms and ammo in our area (The Palouse and LC Valley). One thing they do have if it is not in the display is the “Special Order Book”, if you do not see what you want, Walmart can custom order a bunch of other products directly from manufacturers.

  5. VPC is using a rhetorical or perhaps statistical trick. Even though the absolute number of gun owners is increasing in the US, the percentage of households owning guns might just maybe perhaps be decreasing. At least the percentage of people who will tell an anonymous person on the phone that there are guns in the house has declined.

    So kudos to VPC for finding a data point and using it as a fact, rather than just emoting a conclusion out of thin air. But minus several points for not putting the data point in context, or even confirming it in any verifiable way.

  6. I highly doubt if the original scaling back of gun sales in 2006 was motivated by declining gun sales. More likely, it was Wal-Mart’s way of ingratiating itself with anti-gun local politicians, in an attempt to expand into new cities.

    Note that when the economy was expanding, corporations could afford to roll the dice on boneheaded moves like cutting gun sales. (It still reduced their income from sales, but they hoped that they’d make up for it in greater market share of a growing economy). When the economy went into recession, they had to pay attention to their current, not their hypothetical future customers–and their current customers want more guns, not less.

    Another possible factor in the 2006 decision: Bush and the GOP had really screwed the pooch and lost the support of the American people, giving the impression of a political shift to the Left. Wal-Mart’s executives may have believed (wrongly) that this would spill over into Second Amendment issues, and that by backing away from gun sales they would be on the right side of public opinion. We can see how that went.

  7. For an eye-opener, have a look at Ruger’s stock chart. Ticker symbol RGR. Then for the same effect, check Smith & Wesson- SWHC – you know, the gun company bought by another company with 6 employees. OK, they did get some outside financing help.

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