America’s most famous gun maker is re-branding to a generic-sounding outdoor goods company

The company said the new name makes more sense as it expands into other businesses—last month, for example, it acquired UST Brands, a camping and survival gear company. The company’s guns will continue to be sold under the Smith & Wesson brand.

 The name change is less a repudiation of its heritage, and more of a recognition of its limitations. That’s because two things are true about guns in America:
  • People buy a lot of them. There are approximately 350 million firearms in the US, or more guns than people.
  • Lots of people don’t own guns. Recent surveys show the number of households with firearms is between 32% and 43%, and has fallen considerably since the early 1990s, when more than half of all households owned guns.


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