Have you been to a gun shop and looked at guns recently? Compared to a few years ago, prices are higher than ever. Looking even further back, the rise in prices is astronomical. Back in 1950, you could pick up a nice Colt 1911 .45 ACP Pistol for $49.95. Today that same gun is selling for $800!

So why are guns so pricey today? If you are interested in a new gun, read on to learn why we are seeing so many expensive guns today – and why saving up for one still makes sense!

Why Are Guns So Expensive?

There isn’t any single factor pushing gun prices to today’s record levels. Instead, the rise in prices stems from a combination of five different factors. If you’re in the market to buy a gun, understanding what’s driving prices will help you make an intelligent decision.

1. Supply and Demand

During the Pandemic, demand for guns rose to unprecedented levels. 2021 alone saw 5.4 million people become first-time gun buyers. Demand far outstripped supply month after month, and labor shortages contributed to the shortage.

2. Supply Chain Issues

Since many gun dealers offer guns manufactured overseas, Covid-19 restrictions had a strong impact on supply. Not only were manufacturers in lockdown, but port terminals were as well. Added to that are worldwide shortages of shipping containers.

Domestically, railroads and trucking companies are still suffering from a lack of workers. The end result is a distribution system that still hasn’t returned to normal.

3. Exchange Rates

With some of the top manufacturers of various types of guns located in the European Union, exchange rates play a role in gun prices. If the dollar’s value against the euro falls, prices here in the US will go up.

In the past few years, this rate of exchange has been steady. But shortly after the euro was launched, its value against the dollar rose sharply, driving gun prices up.

4. New Ghost Gun Law

The new federal law outlawing ‘ghost guns’ now in effect is also affecting prices. Ghost guns – unregistered guns without serial numbers – were often sold as kits. With their unavailability, the costs of registered, licensed guns are apt to rise.

5. Inflation

Let’s go back to that $49.95 Colt 1911 .45 from 1950. True, that same gun costs $800 today. The price of that gun, adjusted for inflation alone, would be about $530, not $800. That’s a big difference, but there is more to the story.

Back in 1950, that Colt would have equaled about 2% of the average household’s income. Today, with household incomes so much higher, an $800 handgun is only 1% of household income.

The Bottom Line on Gun Prices

At first glance, it seems as though gun prices have gone through the roof recently. Why are guns so expensive? High demand, supply and shipping issues, and inflation all play a role in driving gun prices ever higher.

But when you look at gun prices in real dollars over time and as a percent of income, today’s a great time to shop for a new gun here!

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