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BREAKING :
THE NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION IS FIGHTING BACK AGAINST A LAWSUIT FILED THURSDAY BY NEW YORK’S ATTORNEY GENERAL BY SUBMITTING ITS OWN CIVIL SUIT AGAINST THE STATE OFFICIAL, ACCUSING HER OF DEFAMATION AND VIOLATING ITS RIGHTS TO FREE SPEECH. THE NRA’S LAWSUIT WAS FILED IN THE FEDERAL COURT OF NEW YORK AND ALLEGES ATTORNEY GENERAL LETITIA JAMES “MADE THE POLITICAL PROSECUTION OF THE NRA A CENTRAL CAMPAIGN THEME” WHEN SHE WAS RUNNING FOR THE AG’S OFFICE IN 2018, AND HAS NOT TREATED THE ASSOCIATION FAIRLY SINCE.AS POLICE FORCES THROUGHOUT AMERICA LOSE FUNDING, THE INEVITABLE HAS BEGUN: PEOPLE ARE STOCKING UP ON GUNS AND AMMUNITION. BACKGROUND CHECKS PRIOR TO GUN PURCHASES HAVE SHOT UPWARD. IN JULY OF THIS YEAR, THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION PERFORMED 3,639,224 OF THESE CHECKS. IN JULY 2019, THEY PERFORMED ONLY 2,030,661. THAT’S AN INCREASE OF 79.2 PERCENT. JUNE, THE MONTH MAJOR RIOTS BEGAN SWEEPING THROUGH AMERICA, SAW AN EVEN STEEPER INCREASE. FBI DATA INDICATES 2.3 MILLION GUNS WERE SOLD IN JUNE 2020—AN INCREASE OF 145.3 PERCENT OVER JUNE 2019. MEANWHILE, POLICE IN MAJOR CITIES ARE BEING DEPRIVED OF THEIR ABILITY TO ENFORCE THE LAW.SINCE MARCH, MANY INDUSTRIES HAVE COME TO A STUTTERING HALT OR HAD TO ADJUST THEIR OPERATIONS QUICKLY TO REMAIN AFLOAT AMID COVID-19. HOWEVER, THE WEAPONS INDUSTRY, PARTICULARLY GUN OWNERSHIP AMONG BOTH WOMEN AND MEN, HAS SEEN A HUGE SPIKE AMID THE PANDEMIC AND NATIONWIDE PROTESTS. AN ESTIMATED 46.3 PERCENT OF ADULTS OWN GUNS IN ARIZONA IN 2020. WOMEN GUN OWNERSHIP ACCOUNTS FOR MORE THAN 20 PERCENT OF GUN OWNERS NATIONWIDE.AMMO SALES HAVE SURGED FOR VISTA OUTDOOR AND OLIN CORP. DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC AS FEARS OF CORONAVIRUS AND CIVIL UNREST PROMPT AMERICANS TO BUY GUNS AND BULLETS. VISTA OUTDOOR CEO CHRIS METZ SAID IN AN EARNINGS CALL THURSDAY THAT STRONG AMMUNITION SALES IN THE LAST QUARTER WERE DRIVEN BY AN INDUSTRY-WIDE 40% INCREASE IN FIRST-TIME GUN BUYERS DURING THE PANDEMIC, INCLUDING WOMEN AND PEOPLE OF COLOR, BASED ON DATA FROM HE NSSF GUN INDUSTRY GROUP. HE SAID THAT AMMO DEMAND IS SO BRISK, AND FUELED IN PART BY STOCKPILING, THAT SOME NEW BUYERS HAVE COMPLAINED THAT THEY CAN’T FIND ENOUGH AMMO IN STOCK.SMITH & WESSON ANNOUNCED THAT THEY WILL BE SPINNING OFF AMERICAN OUTDOOR BRANDS IN AUGUST. THE SMALL SIZE (NEARLY MICRO-CAP) OF THE SPIN-CO RELATIVE TO THE PARENT MAY PRESENT AN OPPORTUNITY TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF FORCED SELLING. INCENTIVES OF NEW MANAGEMENT ARE STRONG. TRADING COMPS SUGGEST THAT THE SPIN-CO MAY FETCH A HIGHER MULTIPLE THAN IT WOULD AS A PART OF SMITH & WESSON BRANDS. IT WAS ANNOUNCED FRIDAY THAT SMITH & WESSON'S (SWBI) BOARD OF DIRECTORS APPROVED THE SPINOFF OF THEIR "OUTDOOR PRODUCTS AND ACCESSORIES" BUSINESS LINE AS AMERICAN OUTDOOR

NAT’L – INDUSTRY INSIDER – Civil unrest pushes US gun stocks to outpace tech’s biggest companies

THENEXTWEB.COM June 3, 2020 – Big tech might be thriving thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, but the firearms industry is experiencing even faster growth as Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests grip the US.

Shares in weapons giants Smith & Wessen (sic), and Sturm Ruger & Co have surged since the first BLM rallies on May 30, up 27% and 14% respectively as of Tuesday’s market close. Taser’s Axon has risen 28%, and ammo and gun retailer Vista Outdoors jumped 18%. Traders have even flocked to the Olin Corporation, which makes the popular Winchester brand of firearms. Olin stock rallied by more than 9% this week, while the likes of Google, Microsoft, and Amazon have remained relatively flat.

To illustrate how well the US firearms sector is performing, Hard Fork created a new index: The Guns & Ammo 7 (G&A 7). It includes the largest public companies that deal in guns and ammunitions in some way, such as the ones mentioned above. We also added major outlets that sell guns and ammo (Big 5 Sporting Goods), as well as AR-15 rifles (Sportsman’s Warehouse).

*The full list of G&A 7 companies is included at the end of this article below.

The G&A 7 index actually staged an impressive recovery since COVID-19 decimated the Dow, having tracked alongside the NASDAQ 100 (a popular benchmark that includes top tech stocks) for most of the year.

Still, it struggled to stay positive — until May 30, when it exploded. In total, G&A 7 has added $1.98 billion to its overall market cap since then, a 21% increase.

On the other hand, the NASDAQ 100 has fallen slightly since protests erupted, but remains positive after seeping back into the green in early May.

Coronavirus lockdowns started the fire, civil unrest fans it
As for what’s causing gun stocks to turn bullish, Bloomberg reported that background checks for first-time gun owners or repeat buyers have now risen for 13 consecutive months. They’ve also spiked over the past three months when compared with a year earlier: by 75% in May; 80% in March; and 69% in April.

“People are watching the news,” Interactive Brokers chief strategist Steve Sosnick told reporters. “The market is anticipating that there will be increased interest and demand for firearms as a result of what’s going on in the world right now.”

Wall Street analysts reportedly expect demand for firearms to continue as virus lockdowns ease, and especially so if Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden edges closer to the White House, due to his comparably restrictive gun policies.

*The G&A 7 Index consists of the following stocks: Sturm Ruger & Co Inc (RGR), Smith & Wesson Brands Inc (SWBI), Olin Corp (OLN), Sportsman’s Warehouse Holdings Inc (SPWH), Vista Outdoor Inc (VSTO), Big 5 Sporting Goods Corp, and Axon Enterprise Inc (AAXN).  [view source]

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