Stocks of U.S. gun manufacturers spiked on Monday morning, just hours after the most deadly mass shooting in recent history. At least 58 people were killed and more than 500 were wounded on Sunday night when Stephen Paddock, 64, opened fire at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival in Las Vegas from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel.
Paddock was found dead in his hotel room with as many as 10 firearms, officials said on Monday morning. Concert-goers reported hearing what they described as automatic gun fire during the shooting.
An hour into trading on Monday, value of Sturm Ruger shares went up by as much as 7.7 percent and shares of American Outdoor Brands Corp, manufacturer of Smith & Wesson firearms, went up by as much as 6 percent.
This is not the first time that a mass shooting has resulted in such a spike.
“Over the past eight and a half years, you had this volatile situation where every time there’s some sort of mass shooting, like Newtown, like Orlando, and now like Las Vegas, the stocks have gone up,” said Rob Cox, global editor at Reuters Breakingviews. “Largely in response to concerns there may be new tightening of regulations on buying the guns, or on gun ownership. And that has actually driven a lot of the buying that actually has given these guys a lift over the past eight years.”
Last year, after more than 49 people were killed and dozen were wounded in a shooting at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, U.S. gun manufacturers saw their shares go up by 6 to 8 percent.
"This massacre is a further reminder of how easy it is for someone to get their hands on a weapon that allows them to shoot people," President Barack Obama said at the time.
When President Donald Trump addressed the nation on Monday morning from the White House, he did not mention gun control or access to guns in America.
“It was an act of pure evil,” Trump said about the shooting. He went on to say that he and the first lady are praying for the speedy recovery of those injured and called on the U.S. to come together as one. “I know we are searching for some kind of meaning in the chaos, some kind of light in the darkness. The answers do not come easy.”
The president will travel to Las Vegas on Wednesday where he will meet with first responders, law enforcement officials and the families of the victims.
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