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Sector Snap: Shares of gun maker continue to fall

The Associated Press

Shares of gun makers Sturm, Ruger & Co. Inc. and Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. fell again Tuesday, after a private equity firm said it was selling its stake in another company that may have made a weapon used to kill elementary school children in Connecticut last week.

Cerberus Capital Management said it will sell its controlling stake in Freedom Group International, the maker of Bushmaster rifles. The company said that the school shooting on Friday, which killed 20 children and six adults, was a "watershed event" in the debate over gun control.

Also on Tuesday, Dick's Sporting Goods Inc. said that it is suspending sales of modern sporting rifles nationwide because of the school shooting. The sporting goods chain also said it's removing all guns from display at its store closest to Newtown, Conn., where the massacre took place.

Many politicians, including President Barack Obama, have said that they are ready to talk about stopping gun violence and discuss stricter gun laws after the killings.

A spokesperson for Smith & Wesson said, "Our hearts go out to those impacted by this terrible tragedy. We feel that further comment would be inappropriate."

Ruger did not respond to a request for comment.

Shares of Ruger fell $3.84, or 8.7 percent, to $40.16 in afternoon trading. Shares are down 16 percent since Thursday's close, but are up 20 percent since the beginning of the year.

Shares of Smith & Wesson fell 93 cents, or 10.7 percent, to $7.73 in afternoon trading . The stock is down 19 percent since Thursday's close and up 77 percent for the year.