Investors expected an increase in gun sales after Clinton unveiled a plan calling for tougher background checks and Obama also renewed his calls for laws
Jana Kasperkevic in New York
Monday 5 October 2015
Renewed calls for tougher gun control laws sent gun stocks surging on Monday as investors expected an increase in gun sales. The value of Smith & Wesson’s shares went up by 7.29% and Sturm, Ruger & Co increased by 2.75%.
It was another good day for gun stock investors. Overall this year, the value of Smith & Wesson’s shares has increased by more than 80% and that of Sturm, Ruger increased by more than 60% – making them some of the best-performing stocks of 2015.
Monday’s rally in gun stocks came hours after Hillary Clinton, the former secretary of state and the Democratic candidate for the president, unveiled a plan calling for tougher background checks at gun shows and online than those currently in place.
“We need universal background checks,” Clinton said at the New Hampshire town hall. “We know that they will work.”
Obama also renewed his calls for tougher gun control laws on Thursday, after a deadly shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon.
“It cannot be this easy for somebody who wants to inflict harm on other people to get his or her hands on a gun,” Obama said during a press conference after the shooting that left 10 dead, including the gunman. He went on to point out that the states with most gun laws tend to have the fewest gun deaths. “So the notion that gun laws don’t work, or just will make it harder for law-abiding citizens, and criminals will still get their guns is not borne out by the evidence.”
In the years since Obama took office, gun makers have had some of their most profitable years. Last year, Smith & Wesson sales hit a record high of $626m, up 6.7% from $587.5m in 2013. Sturm, Ruger sales reached their record high in 2013.