Sector Snap: Gun makers rise after Senate vote

Shares of Smith & Wesson, Sturm Ruger rise as gun control bill clears first hurdle in Senate

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of gun manufacturers ticked higher Thursday after gun control supporters in the U.S. Senate defeated an effort to forestall debate on laws that could mandate expanded background checks on sales of firearms.

The roll call vote that brings the measure to the floor of the Senate came a day after Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Patrick Toomey, R-Pa. announced a new plan for federal background checks. The proposal would require the checks for sales at gun shows and online transactions, but would exempt noncommercial personal transactions. The bill still faces a long road in both houses of Congress.

The vote comes almost four months after a gunman killed 20 school children and six staffers at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., spurring President Obama and some legislators to attempt to address firearms violence. Gun sales have jumped since the shooting, as Obama made it clear he planned to push for stricter gun laws.

Shares of firearm manufacturers sometimes spike when it seems more likely that tighter gun controls will be passed.

Sturm Ruger & Co. shares rose 33 cents to $50.73 in afternoon trading. The stock is up 11 percent in 2013 but is well below the high of $58.50 set in early March.

Smith & Wesson Corp. stock picked up 23 cents, or 2.6 percent, to $9.12. The shares are up about 5 percent this year and traded as high as $10.63 in early March.

Cabela's Inc., a major sporting goods retailer that sells firearms, added 16 cents to $61.35.

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