Gun Control Is Dead… For Now
December 16, 2013 by Sam Rolley
In the year since the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary school renewed calls for stricter gun laws, the political back-and-forth has made stock in firearms manufacturers one of the best-performing investments on Wall Street for 2013.
Following the horrible tragedy, what was described by some as the “Sandy Hook Effect” took hold: Gun sales soared as worried Americans rushed to by the products that many politicians were threatening to ban outright. Meanwhile, fidgety investors bailed on firearm manufacturing stocks out of fear that the legislative actions would destroy gun makers’ bottom lines.
On Dec. 18 2012, CNBC outlined the reactionary fallout:
Smith & Wesson’s stock tumbled eight percent over the Friday to Monday period, and on Tuesday the stock careened an additional 10 percent lower. Sturm Ruger & Company’s shares also plunged by nearly eight percent, after shedding about nine percent of its value since the shooting.
Both companies were hurt in part by news that private equity giant Cerberus Capital Management would immediately shed its stake in gun maker Freedom Group, citing the Connecticut tragedy.
But those investors who didn’t buy the hype coming from the Administration of President Barack Obama and other anti-gun factions and put faith in the ability of 2nd Amendment supporters to beat back gun control legislation are experiencing hefty returns today. Investors who bought stocks in the companies following the initial selloff of gun stocks are doing even better.
Those who bought Smith & Wesson shares SWHC -2.54% in the immediate aftermath of the massacre 12 months ago have made profits of more than 60%. Those who bought rival gun maker Sturm, Ruger RGR +0.41% are sitting on profits of nearly 80%. Those returns have left almost any other financial speculation in the shade. They’ve beaten the overall stock market by more than two-to-one.
Last week’s tragic anniversary marked a reset for many anti-gun groups disappointed that majority support didn’t fall on the side of emotion with regard to 2nd Amendment rights over the past year. But judging by the negative political consequences gun-grabbing lawmakers have suffered in the past year, as well as the support gun manufacturers have gotten from the market economy, many observers agree: Gun control at the national level is dead.