Gun stocks edged higher after another night of civil unrest in the US with violent incidents continuing in New York City, Los Angeles, Buffalo, Las Vegas and St. Louis.
As gun demand “remains strong as civil unrest increases with the George Floyd [who died while being detained by police officers] protests, near-term firearms demand probably also would be “bolstered” if the election prospects for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden strengthen, given the party’s “more restrictive stance on gun control,” said Cowen’s guns and ammunition analyst Cai Von Rumohr.
Shares of gun makers Sturm Ruger & Co. Inc. and Smith & Wesson Brands Inc. soared 14% and 25%, respectively, over the past two days. They’ve also outperformed the broader market over the past 13 months, with a strong surge coming since mid-March.
That correlates with meaningful year-over-year gains in adjusted background checks of 80% in March, 69% in April and 75% in May. That’s a significant jump from the adjusted gains of 19% and 17% in January and February respectively.
Gun stocks have typically been volatile in response to political and regulatory changes and pressures. AGF investments chief US policy strategist Greg Valliere said on Monday that, “we think — as of now — that the Democrats are within sight of controlling the House, the Senate and the White House.” This will drive “continued demand in June and through the fall,” Lake Street analyst Mark Smith wrote in a note on Tuesday.
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