An acquisition gives the gunmaker ready access to the market if the coming suppressor boom materializes.
Public misperceptions about gun silencers is probably what kept American Outdoor Brands' (NASDAQ:AOBC) purchase of leading suppressor manufacturer Gemini Technologies from exciting the market as much as it should have. But it is a smart acquisition nonetheless that comes at an opportune time for the firearms manufacturer, as it will help it better target and keep pace with rival Sturm, Ruger (NYSE:RGR) while preparing for the boom to come.
Hollywood has characterized silencers so that people imagine some James Bond-like device that quietly goes pew-pew-pew when a gun is fired. In reality, the devices don't silence guns so much as suppress the sound they make. An AR-15 modern sporting rifle outfitted with a so-called silencer would still make a sound around 130 decibels, or the equivalent of a jackhammer.
Despite their outlandish depiction in movies, suppressors are an essential tool for shooters wanting to protect their hearing, as hearing damage begins to occur at about 85 decibels, or about the same sound your kitchen blender makes. And suppressors became a topic of conversation this year after the Hearing Protection Act (HPA) was introduced in Congress to make less convoluted the rigmarole gun enthusiasts have to go through to buy one.
In part because of their mischaracterization, suppressors are banned in eight states, while individuals in the other 42 have to pay $200 for a tax stamp and have their suppressor registered with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE). Basically, it's the same process as if you wanted to buy a machine gun. And whereas a person buying a firearm can have an instant criminal background check performed at the time of purchase, someone buying a suppressor has to wait as long as eight months or more to get approval. The HPA would eliminate the tax, streamline the purchasing process, and remove silencers from the list of weapons regulated by the National Firearms Act.
Smith & Wesson Is Ready to Make Some Noise in Gun Silencers -- The Motley Fool