Stocks of gun makers surge after Texas school shooting

Shares of prominent publicly traded gun and ammunition makers rose sharply in trading Wednesday after the deadly mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, sparked renewed calls for gun control measures.

The stock surge occurred after a teenage gunman armed with two assault rifles opened fire at the school, killing at least 19 children and two teachers in one of the worst mass school shootings in recent memory.

Sturm, Ruger & Company, the largest US gun manufacturer by market cap, rose 5.47% to $67.12 as of 12:45 a.m. ET. Smith & Wesson Brands stock rose nearly 8% to $15.02, while ammunition maker Vista Outdoor jumped 9% to $38.24.

American Outdoor Brands rose 6% to $11.12. Ammo Inc. ticked up about 5%, while shares of another ammo maker Olin Corporation were flat.

The upward turn in gun stocks suggests that investors expect sales to rise as demands for gun control measures such as enhanced background checks gain momentum on Capitol Hill.

Stock prices similarly rose in 2019 after mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas led former President Donald Trump to back stricter background check laws. And gun firm shares have historically risen during Democratic presidencies due to concerns among Second Amendment proponents have stricter ownership regulations.

Ruger firearms
Sturm Ruger is the largest publicly traded US gun firm by market cap.
Bloomberg via Getty Images
Texas police
Texas shooter Salvador Ramos was killed by responding police.

President Biden explicitly called for stricter gun laws following the Uvalde school shooting, as he has in the wake of past mass shooting in Buffalo, New York and Boulder, Colorado that took place during his presidency.

“The gun manufacturers have spent two decades aggressively marketing assault weapons which make them the most and largest profit,” Biden said in his speech on Tuesday night. “For God’s sake, we have to have the courage to stand up to the industry.”

“Here’s what else I know: Most Americans support commonsense laws — commonsense gun laws,” Biden added.

Texas shooter Salvador Ramos' weapons
Texas shooter Salvador Ramos legally purchased two rifles used in the deadly attack.

Texas school shooter Salvador Ramos legally purchased the two semi-automatic rifles he used in the massacre from a local outdoor and hunting store, according to officials and multiple reports. He also bought 375 rounds of ammunition.

Ramos was shot dead by police who responded to Robb Elementary School.

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