Gunmakers’ profits rise after mass shootings
Gun sales rise and gunmakers’ profits routinely increase in the aftermath of highly publicized mass shootings. For example, after the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting in 2012 and the San Bernardino terrorist attack in 2015, gun sales jumped by 3 million and 1.6 million, respectively. Based on normal buying patterns, these numbers exceeded expectations by more than 1 million sales. In months leading up to these events, the deviations from predicted buying patterns were consistently less than 200,000 extra sales. Investors also anticipate spikes in sales after mass shootings, which drives up share prices of gun and ammunition companies. For example, shares of Sturm, Ruger & Company and Smith & Wesson Brands rose after the massacres at Sandy Hook, San Bernardino, California and Parkland, Florida. And the day after the recent deadly school shooting in Uvalde, Smith & Wesson Brands and Vista Outdoor (the parent company of Remington Ammunition), saw their stock prices increase by about 7%, while Sturm, Ruger & Company saw a more than 4% increase in stock prices. By comparison, the stock market overall was up just 1%.
Gun companies are locked in a dangerous “race to the bottom” in products and practices, creating a cycle of violence
Since receiving immunity from civil litigation in the mid-2000s, the firearms industry has broken previous taboos on marketing tactical products to civilians in an effort to boost sales. Notably, firearms advertising increasingly exploits fear and racial and gender stereotypes, as well as targeting younger and younger audiences. These practices have become more extreme, as the industry engages in an increasing downward spiral of salacious marketing tactics. In a 2012 Maxim ad, Bushmaster declared, “Consider your man card reissued”, when buying an assault rifle. Daniel Defense, the company that sold the rifle to the Uvalde assailant, posted a picture on May 16, 2022 of a child holding a rifle on twitter with the caption, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it