Firearms sales slump with gun owners reassured by Trump White House
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Donald Trump is a great friend of the weapons industry but his support has proven to be a double-edged sword.

Time and time again shooting massacres in the United States have been followed by a surge in firearms sales as gun owners and would-be owners rush to fill their arsenals ahead of an expected tightening of gun laws.

But with weapons owners now relaxed in the belief that gun control is off the agenda there is no such dash to the arms dealers, leading to subdued sales and at least one firearms maker to shed jobs.

Remington Outdoor has laid off more than 120 workers at one of its factories in New York in the wake of a drop in demand.

There are lingering fears that the factory could shut down entirely after the gun maker announced in 2014 that it would open a manufacturing facility in Alabama.

Remington is not the only weapons company that has suffered a dip in demand. American Outdoor Brands (NASDAQ: AOBC), better known by its former name Smith & Wesson Holding Corp, is said to have reported below expectation sales in the last quarter and rising inventory levels.

Demand for guns peaked last year when the FBI processed 27.5 million background checks, which are used as a guage of firearms sales.

In the first two months of this year the bureau only processed 4.3 million checks, down 17 percent on lat year but still well ahead of the 3.6 million checks undertaken in the same period of 2015.

Analysts said that fear of new gun laws under the Obama administration had helped sales.

With Republicans now holding the White House as well as both houses of Congress there is an expectation that gun sales could decline.

James Hardiman, managing director of equities research for Wedbush Securities Inc, predicts a 10 to 15 percent drop in FBI background checks this year.

"We do believe that having a Republican in the White House ... negatively impacts gun sales in that it effectively eliminates any threat of new gun regulation for the foreseeable future," he said.

The dire forecasts come despite Mr Trump reversing an Obama bill that had made it more difficult for people with mental illness to buy guns.

The bill rescinded a measure that would have added people receiving Social Security funds for certain disabilities, including mental illness, to the national gun background check database.

Dow Jones

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