Mass shootings are becoming more common in America. Five years ago there were 358 such incidents, which are generally defined as shootings in which four or more people not including the shooter are injured. Last year there were 692. And by mid-June this year, there had already been 252. While the outcry about them is nearly universal—and more than half of Americans favor stricter gun laws—studies show that mass shootings often precede an increase in gun sales and a rise in the share prices of publicly-traded firearms manufacturers. In other words, they can be good for gunmakers’ bottom lines.
On May 24, the day a shooter opened fire on elementary students in Uvalde, Texas, stocks in Sturm, Ruger & Co. were trading at $63.62. A week later they were at $68.57, and later hovered around the $66-mark. Smith & Wesson Brands Inc. had an even steeper climb, rising 9.4% from $13.93 to $15.24 in one day, and have traded around $15 since.
One of the reasons for the uptick in share-buying might be that gun sales often spike in the wake of a gun tragedy. The number of FBI firearm background check requests—one measure of how many guns are being sold—rose above May’s monthly average in the days following the Uvalde elementary school killings.
Background checks don’t always correlate with the number of guns sold, but a longitudinal study conducted in 2021 by trauma surgeons at University of California Davis correlated 20 years worth of mass shooting events with actual gun sales in California. It looked at the 20 most deadly shootings in the years 1996 to 2015, plus all mass school shootings during the same period, and found …read more
Source:: Time – Business