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Shares of gun maker Smith & Wesson tumble after Connecticut shooting

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Stock prices of gun makers have tumbled on Wall Street amid a surge in discussion about gun control in the aftermath of the devastating shooting at a Connecticut elementary school last week.

Shares of Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. fell as much as 5% on Monday after sinking more than 4% on Friday – the day that Adam Lanza opened fire at Sandy Hook Elementary School, in Newtown, Conn., killing 26 people, including 20 children.

Sturm Ruger & Co., another firearm maker, saw its stock price fall nearly 3% on Monday after dropping more than 4% on Friday.

The companies’ websites have stayed mum about the shooting.

Most firearm manufacturers -- such as Browning and Winchester maker Herstal Group, Colt Firearms, Beretta USA and Bushmaster, which produces the AR-15 rifle used by Lanza -- are privately owned.  

Shares of ammunition maker Olin Corp., however, were up Monday.

Since the tragedy, a number of politicians have pledged to push to limit the availability of some weapons. Sen. Dianne Feinstein promised to introduce new gun control legislation. On Monday, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg called for tighter gun laws.

In a speech in Newtown, President Obama said he would use “whatever power” he has to prevent future massacres.

Smith & Wesson reported this month that its revenue surged 48% in the three months that ended Oct. 31. The company also indicated that retail sales of its weapons were strong on Black Friday.

In the past, the possibility of new gun control measures have actually boosted firearms makers on Wall Street. Stocks in the sector surged after Obama’s reelection as analysts predicted that consumers would stock up on weapons.

Gun sales have seen double-digit growth since 2006 as manufacturers have introduced product innovations, according to Benchmark Research.

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