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Private Briefingwith WILLIAM PATALON III, Executive Editor
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U.S. gun sales are at an all-time high. Ammo is flying off store shelves as well.
And that bodes well for companies in the firearms industry, putting the three mentioned below on many investors' "stocks to buy" list.
Fact is, demand for guns and ammo over the past few months is breaking all records. Just take a look at statistics compiled by the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).
In February, NCIS recorded 2,309,393 background checks - 32% higher than February 2012. December 2012 saw the most background checks in any month in U.S. history, when nearly 2.8 million background checks were performed.
Altogether, the FBI recorded more than 16.8 million background checks for gun purchases in 2012, the highest number since they began publishing the data in 1998.
What's more, the actual number of weapons sold could be even higher because customers can purchase multiple guns for each check, USA Today reports.
In fact, demand is so high, the companies that make these products are having a hard time keeping up.
Dale Raby, manager at Gus's Guns shops in Green Bay, WI, told The New York Times his inventory of guns and ammunition was almost wiped out, especially AR-15 military assault rifles.
"I almost had fistfights over...that type of gun," Raby said.
"If I had 1,000 AR-15s I could sell them in a week," Jack Smith, an independent gun dealer in Des Moines told the Times.
Around the country, many guns are simply out of stock and prices are skyrocketing.
The reason guns are flying off the shelves is the recent battle over new gun control regulations stemming from public outcry over the Newtown, CT school shootings.
Before the Newtown tragedy, a low end AR-15 would fetch $700. Now it will cost you $1500. A 30-round rifle magazine was $12, but now commands $60.
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