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Gun sales set to rise, Smith & Wesson stock jumps after Obama win

Gun sales set to rise, Smith & Wesson stock jumps after Obama win
Gun sales are poised to boom, based on the increased number of firearms background checks being performed. (Carlos Chavez / Los Angeles Times)

While investors moping over President Barack Obama’s reelection sent the Dow spiraling down more than 300 points Wednesday morning, one sector is seeing a surge: gun manufacturing.

Firearms maker Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. surged 10.8% to $10.48 a share in morning trading, more than double its price at the beginning of the year.

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Sturm, Ruger & Co. Inc. got a 6.4% boost to $47.48 a share, a 39% increase from early January
The impetus? Gun sales are expected to boom now that Obama, who said during one presidential debate that he’s open to reintroducing an expired ban on civilian purchases of assault weapons, is returning to office.

In October, the number of firearms background checks performed on potential gun buyers jumped 18.4%, according to the FBI, as cited by Benchmark Research. The data is considered to be a leading indicator for future gun sales.

Gun sales have seen double-digit growth since 2006 amid major product innovation and increasing social acceptance of firearm use, according to Benchmark.

Gun control advocates have pushed Obama to take a stronger stance on weapons ownership since the July mass shooting in Aurora, Colo.

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