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Obama gun-control plan lifts gun company shares

The Associated Press

Shares of gun makers Sturm Ruger and Smith & Wesson rose Wednesday after President Barack Obama unveiled his plan for decreasing gun violence, which includes banning assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines.

Shares of firearm manufacturers sometimes spike when it seems more likely that tighter gun controls will be passed, because that worry triggers people to buy more guns.

Gun sales have jumped since the December shooting at a Newtown, Conn. school that killed 20 children and six adults. Obama made it clear after the shooting that he would push for stricter gun laws.

Since then, gun dealers around the country have been overwhelmed with demand for firearms. Many have been sold out.

On Wednesday, Obama pressed Congress to enact stricter gun-control laws, including a ban of military-style assault weapons, limits on high-capacity ammunition magazines and required background checks for all gun buyers. He also put in place measures that don't require Congress to act, including ordering federal agencies to make more data available for background checks and directing the Centers for Disease Control to research gun violence.

Sturm, Ruger & Co. rose $2.33, or 4.9 percent, to $50.32 in afternoon trading. Through Tuesday's close, shares were unchanged since the school shooting on Dec. 14. They're up 24 percent in the last 12 months.

Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. stock rose 62 cents, or 7.4 percent, to $9.05. Shares are down 12 percent since the school shooting, but up 76 percent from a year ago.

Shares of Cabela's Inc., a sporting goods retailer which sells firearms, also rose $3.31, or 6.7 percent, to $50.01 Wednesday.