Gun stocks are rallying as they usually do after a mass shooting – CNBC

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Shares of gun manufacturers rose in the premarket Thursday, continuing rallies in the wake of the tragic shooting at a high school in Florida.

Sturm Ruger and Smith & Wesson’s parent company, American Outdoor Brands, rose 2.8 percent and 2.4 percent, respectively, before the bell.

The Broward County Sheriff’s Office said 17 people were gunned down Wednesday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The shooter, identified as 19-year-old former student Nikolas Cruz, was booked on 17 counts of premeditated murder Thursday. He allegedly used an AR-15 assault rifle in the rampage.

Shares of Sturm Ruger and American Outdoor Brands rallied Wednesday afternoon as news of the shooting broke. The stocks closed 2.8 percent and 5.6 percent higher, respectively.

Fear of tougher gun laws after deadly shootings may drive people to stockpile weapons. History shows that Sturm Ruger and American Outdoor Brands rise 1.6 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively, five days after a mass shooting, a CNBC study using Kensho found. The study looked at their performance following mass shootings dating back five years.

Several U.S. lawmakers called for tougher gun control laws in the wake of the shooting. Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., tweeted Wednesday night: “Don’t tell me tomorrow isn’t the appropriate time to debate gun violence. If you’re a political leader doing nothing about this slaughter, you’re an accomplice.”

Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., said: “Another terrible school shooting, this time in Florida. At least 18 other school shootings have already happened this year. My heart breaks for those children and their parents. How many more victims until we decide gun violence is a national problem?”

Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas, also tweeted: “Another day, another shooting, indeed, multiple shootings today, while Congress sits in the grip of the NRA, incapable of making the slightest gesture toward reasonable gun safety.”

However, new gun-control laws are unlikely to be passed anytime soon. Both the Senate and the House are controlled by the Republican Party, and many of their members receive contributions from the National Rifle Association, which heavily opposes gun regulation.

President Donald Trump has resisted calls for greater gun control measures after previous mass shootings. He tweeted condolences on Wednesday.

A senior administration official told NBC News there’s a “strong chance” Trump will publicly address the Florida school shooting on Thursday.

Disclosure: NBCUniversal, parent of CNBC, is a minority investor in Kensho.