Gunmakers’ stocks rise after Texas school shooting leaves 19 children and two teachers dead

May 25, 2022, 3:26 PM UTC

At least 19 children and two teachers were killed on Tuesday after an 18-year-old gunman walked into an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas and opened fire, authorities said.  It was the deadliest school shooting in nearly a decade, and the second mass shooting in the U.S. in under two weeks.

The carnage has left the whole nation, once again, in a state of grief and despair, leading President Biden to ask in remarks from the White House, “when in God’s name will we do what we all know in our gut needs to be done?” 

But on Wednesday, as parents grieved and authorities used DNA to identify victims, gun makers’ stocks rose. 

Shares of Sturm, Ruger & Company jumped as much as 5.8%, while Smith & Wesson soared as much as 10% 

The jump in gunmakers’ share prices following a mass shooting is not unusual. Weapons manufacturers’ stock prices typically benefit from shootings, as investors believe fears of impending regulation will lead consumers to rush out to buy arms and ammunition.

In 2019, when two mass shootings killed 31 people in one weekend in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas, shares of gunmakers soared, and sales of firearms followed suit.

Gun sales overall rose to a record pace in 2020, even as gun violence took nearly 20,000 lives in the U.S., not including suicides, according to Pew Research. In fact, almost 23 million guns were purchased in 2020 alone, according to Small Arms Analytics, a consulting firm based in Greenville, South Carolina.

It’s unclear if there will be any major gun reform after the Uvalde shooting. It follows a similar shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, 10 years ago, in which 28 people were killed. President Biden spoke briefly following the shooting on Tuesday from the White House, calling for “commonsense gun laws” to prevent further tragedies.

“When we passed the assault weapons ban, mass shootings went down.  When the law expired, mass shootings tripled,” Biden said on Tuesday. “It’s time to turn this pain into action. We can do so much more.  We have to do more.”

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