Stocks for gun manufacturers surged in anticipation of President Barack Obama’s executive orders on firearm sales. This fits into a pattern of gun sales increasing whenever the president calls for stricter gun control.
Stock prices for gun manufacturer Smith & Wesson rose to $25.86 per share, the highest since 1999. This is a huge increase compared to a year ago, when a share cost $9.93 on Jan. 7, 2015, according to The Intercept.
Meanwhile, Sturm, Ruger & Co’s stocks were being sold for $65.54 per share.
Gun owners have repeatedly shown anxiety about the federal government reducing access to firearms or seizing guns following mass shootings. This has repeatedly resulted in a surge in gun sales.
Smith & Wesson’s chief financial officer, Jeff Buchanan, explained to the company’s investors that “You can see after a tragedy, there’s also a lot of buying.”
This is supported by the number of background checks conducted by the FBI. Following high-profile shooting massacres such as Sandy Hook in 2012 or the Charleston Church shooting in June 2015, the number of background checks spike, according to BBC.
President Obama has made assurances to gun owners that he does not intend to undermine the Second Amendment.
“I believe in the Second Amendment … no matter how many times people try to twist my words around,” the president said during his Jan. 5 press conference. “I taught constitutional law, I know something about this.”
Republican presidential candidates have criticized Obama’s new executive orders, stating that they are an overture before dismantling the Second Amendment.
“Pretty soon you won’t be able to get guns,” Donald Trump warned, according to The Intercept.
While the National Rifle Association has condemned Obama’s executive orders, one of the organization’s Washington D.C. lobbyists, Jennifer Baker, expressed shock at how modest the president’s executive orders are.
“This is it, really?” Baker said. “This is what they’ve been hyping for how long now? This is the proposal they’ve spent seven years putting together? They’re not really doing anything.”