Gun stocks surge after a week of shootings

Keeping to an all too familiar tune on the heels of mass shootings, gun and gear manufacturers’ stocks  jumped after a bloody week in policing.

The day after a sniper gunned down five police officers and injured 11 others in downtown Dallas, Smith & Wesson shares climbed 2.8 percent to $29.07. Fellow gun maker, Strum, Ruger & Co. surged 5 percent, closing at $67.65.

Gear makers, specifically those catering to law enforcement, saw bigger numbers on Friday. Body cam and stun-gun manufacturer, Taser International, watched as stocks rose 6 percent to $34.91, well above its 52 week low of $13.56.

The biggest winner on Friday’s market was Digital Ally. The body cam makers’ shares soared 62 percent, closing at $6.69 a share.

The surge in numbers comes after a week of shootings dominated the news. On Tuesday, officers shot and killed a man, Alton Sterling, allegedly selling CD’s at a convenience store in Baton Rouge. The encounter was captured on a cellphone by the store’s owner and shows police shooting Sterling several times in the chest.

On Wednesday, another black man was shot and killed by police in Minnesota. Philando Castile was shot four times by Officer Jeronimo Yanez during a traffic stop. The aftermath was live streamed on Facebook by Castile’s fiancee who says the legal concealed carry permit owner was shot reaching for his wallet.

The death of the two men sparked racial tension and protests across the nation. Black Lives Matter supporters poured into the streets of major cities to rally against law enforcement’s treatment of African-Americans. Though a majority of protests remained civil, an event in Dallas turned deadly after a sniper unleashed a hail of bullets on police, targeting white cops.

President Obama, speaking from Poland, condemned the Dallas shooting but also took a moment to address gun violence in America.

“When people are armed with powerful weapons, unfortunately, it makes attacks like these more deadly and more tragic,” he said Friday.

The surge in shares on Friday reflected consumers fears that lawmakers will enact tighter gun regulations or an outright ban on certain weapons. This type of surge is common after publicized shootings, John Blank, chief equity strategist for Zacks Investment Research told U.S. News & World Report.

“In short, more public shootings with guns in the news headlines apparently means more demand for guns,” he said. “I assume the idea is everyday people in America go out and buy more guns to protect themselves when they see this kind of public gun-driven chaos out there.”

The most recent example of this phenomenon came after the slaughter of 49 club-goers at a LGBT nightclub in Orlando last month. Smith & Wesson stocks rose nearly 7 percent while Ruger’s advanced 8.5 percent in the days following the terrorist act.

Though several congressmen and women have pushed for more legislation, even hosting a sit-in to garner attention for their cause, no laws have successfully made it through the House or Senate.

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