US gun giant slams Hillary Clinton during earnings call

As Sturm Ruger's sales jumped 19% in the second quarter...

On a call ostensibly to discuss second-quarter earnings, the CEO of America's largest gun manufacturer focused much of his attention on Hillary Clinton's second amendment stance yesterday.

Sturm Ruger reported quarterly net firearm sales of over $168 million, a 19% increase over the same period in 2015, but CEO Michael Fifer foresaw problems if Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton was elected as the next US President.

Referring to Clinton's plans to expand background checks and restrictions on assault weapons, Fifer said:

"Certainly, this is a unique time in our history, because for the very first time ever, we have the nominee of a major political party, one with a very reasonable likelihood of winning the presidency, overtly stating that the Supreme Court got it wrong.... and actively campaigning against the lawful commerce in arms."

Earlier this year, Clinton's campaign had told Bloomberg that a 2008 decision by the US supreme court to overturn the District of Columbia's ban on handguns as "wrongly decided".

"That's unprecedented," Fifer argued, "and it will be hard for any of us to believe that didn't have some impact, but it can't be measured."

Despite his future concerns, Sturm Ruger's latest figures indicate that the series of recent mass shootings in the United States has only served to fuel the public's demand for guns.

Sturm Ruger chief operating officer Chris Killoy said that manufacturing can't keep up with demand currently, even though employees are working overtime.

Shares in both Sturm Ruger and its rival Smith & Wesson are now close to record highs, peaking after each mass shooting.

According to the New York Times, gun sales in the US have more than doubled in a decade, from about seven million in 2002 to 15 million in 2015.

The Washington Examiner has reported that sales are set to break last year's record of more than 23 million in 2016.

FBI figures show that, under the Obama administration, background checks for guns reached 141.4 million to the end of May this year, amounting to sales of roughly 52,600 a day.