Las Vegas massacre: Gun stocks soar after deadliest mass shooting in US history

Donald Trump and other politicians react to Las Vegas shooting on social mediaWochit

Gun stocks are soaring in the aftermath of the deadliest mass shooting in US history.

Shares of major gun manufacturers rose as news broke of the massacre in Las Vegas, which claimed the lives of at least 58 people and injured more than 500.

Gunman Stephen Paddock opened fire at an open-air country music concert in the centre of Las Vegas from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel at around 10.30pm (5:30am GMT) on Sunday 1 October.

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He was found dead, armed with 10 guns, after officers stormed the room.

Counter-terrorism expert David Otto told IBTimes UK that Paddock's use of powerful machine guns is a "reflection of the relaxed gun laws in the US".

Shares of American Outdoor Brands (AOBC), the company formerly known as Smith & Wesson and Sturm, Rutger & Co. rose by more than 4% in the hours after the attack.

Gun stocks tend to rally after a mass shooting, with shares surging after the Orlando nightclub attack and the Sandy Hook school shooting.

In the wake of a mass shooting, the debate around gun control erupts and prompts potential buyers and investors towards purchasing firearms before regulations are tightened.

AOBC told investors in its annual report that "speculation surrounding increased gun control at the federal, state, and local level and heightened fears of terrorism and crime" can heighten demand.

Gun sales have dropped significantly since Donald Trump became president, according to several manufacturers and the FBI's database of gun owners, Business Insider reported. President Trump has a close relationship with the National Rifle Association (NRA) and has declined to back calls for tougher gun legislation in the past.

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After the Orlando shooting, Trump called for a "Muslim ban" and a crackdown on "radical Islamic terrorism". When asked if there should be tougher gun restrictions, he argued "more guns in the club might have prevented the massacre".

The president described the latest shooting as an "act of pure evil" but did not mention gun legislation during a press conference after the attack on 2 October.

His political rival, Hillary Clinton, took to Twitter to call for tougher restrictions and criticised gun control opponents.

"The crowd fled at the sound of gunshots. Imagine the deaths if the shooter had a silencer, which the NRA wants to make easier to get," she wrote, referring to a bill that would make it easier to purchase silencers which the NRA and its Republican allies are trying to push through the House.

"Our grief isn't enough. We can and must put politics aside, stand up to the NRA, and work together to try to stop this from happening again," she said.

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