Background Checks Rise In February Amid Renewed Gun Debate
Sturm Ruger & Company Inc (NYSE: RGR) and American Outdoor Brands Corp (NASDAQ: AOBC) were on the rise Monday after the Federal Bureau of Investigation reported both month-over-month and year-over-year increases in February firearm background checks.
Notably, nearly every month in 2017 posted annual declines, and the trend had been on track to continue in 2018 with a drop in January. The sequential rise wouldn't have been significant — February generally surpasses January in checks — but for the recent and unexpected regulatory risks around gun restrictions.
Why It's Important
The pop may be indicative of rising fear among gun-rights advocates, who eased up on purchases in 2017 after ostensible National Rifle Association ally President Donald Trump took office.
In the wake of the Feb. 14 massacre at a Florida high school, Trump has posited regulations unwelcome by current and prospective firearm owners. His recent remarks on gun control and his mercurial policy perspectives may be driving stockpiling formerly seen during the Obama Administration.
The same threat had prompted an 18-percent selloff in gun stocks that has since partially recovered.
It's worth noting that the FBI didn't record spikes in October following the Las Vegas shooting, after which Trump maintained his early gun policies.
Sturm Ruger was trading up more than 3 percent at $49.15, while American Outdoor was up more than 5 percent at $10.26.
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