In a nation rocked by successive mass shootings, gun companies aren't exactly sweating bullets.
If stock prices are any indication, investors are fairly optimistic about weapons manufacturers. The day after President Barack Obama spoke from the Oval Office, imploring Congress to pass gun control legislation and help stem the threat from extremists, Smith & Wesson stock was up more than 7 percent by midday:
Similarly, Sturm, Ruger & Co. was up nearly 7 percent on Monday:
Historically, American gun sales have ticked up sharply after mass shootings. Reuters notes that more background checks were done for prospective gun buyers the week after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in December 2012 than at any other time since 1998.
Americans appear to be responding the same way this time around, following shootings at a college campus in Roseburg, Oregon; multiple entertainment spots in Paris; a Planned Parenthood center in Colorado Springs; and an office holiday party in San Bernardino, California.
"Everyone is reporting up, every store, every salesman, every distributor," Ray Peters, a manager at a company that sells firearms and safes in Atlanta, told Reuters on Monday. "People are more aware of the need to protect themselves."
According to an analysis by The Washington Post, there are now more firearms in America than there are Americans, at an estimated 116 guns per 100 citizens.
On Black Friday -- the same day a gunman stormed the Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado Springs, killing three and injuring nine -- the FBI processed 185,345 firearms background checks, setting a record for the most in one day.
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