The stocks of firearm and ammunition manufacturers have risen since the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, as investors bank on increased business.

Just hours after an 18-year-old gunman charged into an elementary school and killed 21 people, including 19 children, discussion about new gun control measures was already picking up. As is common after tragedies like Tuesday’s massacre, gun stocks have boomed.

Smith & Wesson, one of America's largest firearm manufacturers, saw its stock pop by more than 13.5% since Tuesday morning, just before the rampage in Uvalde. That is much higher than the baseline increase in the S&P 500 of about 3.6% over that same period of time.

Sturm, Ruger & Company, the largest public gunmaker in the United States by value, has seen its stock surge by 7.5%.


After shootings, it is typical that, fearing new gun control legislation, customers flock to firearm dealers and gun stores in order to buy new weapons or stock up on ammunition. Banking on that frenzied sentiment, investors have gobbled up associated stocks.

Ammunition manufacturers have also seen their shares rise in value since the shooting.

Olin Corporation was up nearly 4.3%, Vista Outdoor experienced 7.4% growth, and Ammo Inc. saw its value balloon by 16.3% since Tuesday morning.

“The typical hypothesis is that this is an exogenous shock, unanticipated, and as a result of a mass shooting, the reaction is there is an expectation that legislative steps will be undertaken to potentially restrict ammunition, access to guns,” Brian Marks, the executive director of the University of New Haven's Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program, told the Washington Examiner.

The Uvalde shooting was the third-worst school shooting in U.S. history, following the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting and the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting just under a decade ago. The Sandy Hook shooting spurred new conversation around gun control, particularly because the shooter used an AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle.

The FBI maintains the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, which tabulates and follows how many people apply for background checks to purchase guns each month. Rising numbers of monthly background checks can be seen as a proxy for interest in gun ownership.

Following the shooting in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, which took place midway through December, the number of background checks exploded, from about 2 million in November 2012 to nearly 2.8 million in the month of the shooting. Background checks in January 2013 remained high at about 2.5 million.

While the statistics for this month’s background checks haven’t yet been released, it is likely that the FBI will see the number of individuals trying to purchase a gun tick up a bit.

After this week’s shooting, Democrats have broadly called for new legislation that might be able to help curb mass shootings, such as the one that happened in Uvalde. President Joe Biden has implored Congress to try to pass bipartisan legislation addressing the matter.

“As a nation, we have to ask: When in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby?” Biden said after the shooting on Tuesday.

But given how evenly divided the House and Senate are and the fact that it is an election year, it will likely prove difficult for Democrats to get a piece of legislation on the president’s desk to sign.


Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Thursday that the Senate will vote on “gun safety legislation” after members return to Washington from Memorial Day recess, regardless of whether bipartisan talks “bear any fruit.”

“We are under no illusions that this will be easy,” Schumer said.