Stocks for major gun makers bounced up and down Monday as details of a mass shooting at a church in Texas made headlines nationwide.
Shares for Sturm, Ruger and Co. and American Outdoor Brands made four percent and two percent gains early in the day before falling back down to pre-shooting levels. It’s a common phenomenon market analysts anticipate as such incidents trigger political rhetoric about tightening gun regulations, thus fueling consumer demand.
Investigators say the accused gunman — 26-year-old Devin Patrick Kelley — dropped a Ruger AR-556 rifle in front of the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas after an armed neighbor confronted him, ending the attack Sunday that killed 26 people and wounded 20 others. Police found Kelley inside his car a few miles away from the church, dead from a self-inflicted gun shot wound to the head.
Kelley, a former airman, spent a year in military prison for a 2012 assault on his wife and stepson. He received a demotion in rank and a bad conduct discharge in 2014. His prior conviction barred him from owning firearms under state and federal law, but an internal oversight meant the Air Force never reported Kelley’s record to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System database.
Authorities haven’t pinpointed a motive, but did say Kelley’s mother-in-law sometimes attended the same church and had received threatening text messages from him.
“There are no words to describe the pure evil that we witnessed in Sutherland Springs today,” said Gov. Greg Abbott. “Our hearts are heavy at the anguish in this small town, but in time of tragedy, we see the very best of Texas. May God comfort those who’ve lost a loved one, and may God heal the hurt in our communities.”