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Fireworks Sales Fizzle but Firearm Sales Sizzle

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The Fourth of July has come and gone, but the sales of fireworks and the more expensive kind of publicly sold fireworks (Bottle-rockets, M-80s, and Cherry Bombs) were way down over last year.

Anecdotal stories from around the country abound. A Reuters article from July 3 with the headline "Fireworks Industry in the Biggest Slump since the Vietnam War" also caught my attention.

The article stated:

"As millions of Americans celebrate Independence Day on Wednesday, there are some whose holiday won't be going off with a bang. One of America's top fireworks firms said the industry, still suffering due to the nation's economic woes, is experiencing its toughest times since the Vietnam War era when the country was divided over such flashy displays of patriotism."

Those of us on the West Coast are hearing the same alarming news. There are all kinds of reasons proffered. Cuts in local governmental budgets, dry weather conditions and high fire dangers were some of the most persistent culprits mentioned.

Many also mentioned the nation's financial slump that is demonstrated by persistently high jobless conditions.

Yet, there is one industry involving gun powder and metals where the business has been off the chart and better than ever...especially since the presidential elections of 2008.

I'm referring to the firearms industry, the manufacturers of handguns and rifles. Sales are soaring year after year.

As recently as April 6, 2010, the National Shooting Sports Foundation had this to say including a most telling chart which illustrates the ongoing explosive growth of firearm sales:

"Those who have been tracking the sales of firearms recently will not be surprised at the accompanying chart, which shows the leading months for background checks based on the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System. 

"All federally licensed firearms retailers must conduct a mandatory NICS check before completing the retail sale of any new or used firearm, making NCIS statistics a solid indicator of firearms sales."

Stock quotes in this article: RGR, SWHC 

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