In Brief

Why gun sales rise after mass shootings

US rush to buy firearms following Las Vegas and Orlando massacres

Firearms under a US flag

Shares in US gun manufacturers rose within hours of the mass shooting in Las Vegas that saw a lone gunman kill at least 59 people.

 The gains are part of a “historical pattern” of gun share hikes in the aftermath of massacres, says the CNBC website.

Firearms manufacturer Sturm Ruger recorded a jump of 4%, while shares in American Outdoor Brands, formerly Smith & Wesson, increased by more than 3%. And the Olin Corporation, which owns the Winchester brand of ammunition, saw a 6% rise to an all-time high, CNN reports.

Time magazine reports similar increases after the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, last year, in which 49 people died.

Mass shootings lead to a public outcry for gun control, the magazine explains, which typically falls on deaf ears in Washington DC. Gun lovers, however, buy new guns in case the government moves to curtail sales.

Paul Christopher, head global market strategist at the Wells Fargo Investment Institute, told the BBC that there was a “particularly large” spike in shares following the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in 2012. Shortly after, then-president Barack Obama called for tighter gun control.

Gun sales fell following Donald Trump’s inauguration, however, a drop attributed to his relaxed stance on gun control legislation. According to CNN, Sturm Ruger’s most recent quarterly revenue, for example, was down 22% over the same quarter the previous year, and earnings fell by more than 50%.

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