In the wake of the horrific mass shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada, gun stocks have predictably skyrocketed. As with every mass shooting in recent American history, incidents like this one tend to make Americans want to take matters into their own hands to protect themselves and their families.
Shares of Sturm Ruger rose nearly 4 percent and American Outdoor Brands, formerly Smith & Wesson, rose nearly 5 percent or more in Monday morning trading. The shares are up as traders bet that more will be purchasing guns in the face of likely new proposed restrictions on guns.
But gun stocks have historically risen after high-profile shootings. After the Orlando, Florida, and San Bernardino, California, shootings, “you saw a two to [a] three-month surge in firearms sales,” said Rommel Dionisio, managing director at Aegis Capital. The two ISIS-linked attacks “certainly triggered something in the American consciousness about personal safety.”
Although a national change in gun ownership laws appears unlikely, “certainly on a state-by-state basis you can see states pass tighter gun control laws,” Dionisio said. And president Donald Trump has agreed with former president Barack Obama on gun control in the past.
President Obama spoke for me and every American in his remarks in #Newtown Connecticut.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 17, 2012
Back in 2000, Trump, in his book “The America We Deserve,“ said he supported the 1994 federal assault weapons ban. That law expired in 2004 and was not renewed by Congress.
Gun stocks continue to rise for often months after horrifying shootings. In the month after mass U.S. shootings, Sturm Ruger shares climb an average of nearly 2.9 percent and American Outdoor Brands rises almost 5.4 percent, according to analysis using Kensho, a quantitative analytics tool used by hedge funds. The study looked at 32 instances since the Columbine High School shooting in April 1999 in Colorado.
Gun sales had climbed ahead of the election on expectations of a Democratic victory and that Hillary Clinton would increase restrictions on purchases immediately. After Trump’s win, sales of the weapons dropped and so did the shares.
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