STURM RUGER: Demand for guns exploded this summer likely because of election campaigning

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Sturm, Ruger & Co. on Tuesday reported third-quarter earnings that showed “stronger-than-normal” demand this summer, likely boosted by the November elections.

The gunmaker said it earned $1.03 in adjusted earnings per share on net sales of $161.4 million.

These results came one week before a presidential election in which gun control is one of the most contentious issues. Hillary Clinton wants to reinstate the assault-weapons ban following recent mass shootings with them. Donald Trump opposes a ban; he wants to fix gun legislation and improve mental healthcare.

During the second-quarter earnings call in August, Sturm Ruger CEO Michael Fifer called on “our customers and all freedom-loving Americans to take action in support of the Second Amendment,” especially leading up to the election.

The company said it would donate $2 to the National Rifle Association for every gun it sells, and would match all donations to the NRA up to $5 million until the election on November 8. The NRA has endorsed Trump for president.

Sturm Ruger shares gained after previous episodes of gun violence prompted politicians to call for stricter gun-control laws. Investors believed that people would buy more guns if they feared that purchasing in the future would be harder.

Earlier on Tuesday, FBI data showed that firearm background checks rose in October to 2.3 million, up from 2 million a year ago. Background checks reflect buyer interest, not sales.

More to come …

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