Surge in US ammunition sales likely short-lived – Olin CEO

29 January 2013 23:07  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--A surge in US ammunition sales that began shortly before the November presidential election and increased with the renewed debate over gun control legislation is not likely to last, the head of Olin said on Tuesday.

Joseph Rupp, Olin CEO, said the recent increase in ammunition purchases is similar to the one that occurred after President Barack Obama was first elected in 2008.

Olin, which produces chlor-alkalis, also owns the Winchester ammunition manufacturing company.

Obama and the Democratic Party are generally more inclined to favour gun control measures than their counterparts in the Republican Party. After December’s mass shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut, in which 20 children were among those killed, Obama pledged strong action to reduce the level of gun violence in the country, including executive action and new legislation in Congress.

However, the 2008-09 surge in ammunition sales was short-lived, Rupp said during a conference call. He expected that the more recent increase, which began the weekend before the November election, would likely continue into the third quarter of 2013 before beginning to wind down.

Rupp said in 2012 the company saw increases in ammunition purchases from both law enforcement and the military sectors.

Asked how the company might respond to headline-making events like the recent mass slayings, Rupp was somewhat circumspect.

Noting that Olin’s Winchester division had been manufacturing ammunition since 1892, Rupp said the company has weathered other periods of uncertainty. Many people assume Winchester – the namesake of the famous rifle – is a gun manufacturer, when in fact it makes only ammunition.

Rupp said there has been no discussion among Olin’s board of divesting itself of the Winchester division.

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By: Ken Fountain

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