U.S. consumers are rushing to buy guns as the Covid-19 pandemic and protests over police brutality combine with U.S. presidential politics to fuel unprecedented demand.
Firearm background checks compiled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, a proxy for gun purchases, jumped to a record in June as street demonstrations spread around the U.S. That extended a surge that began in March as the coronavirus prompted lockdowns across the country.
The boom is lifting the shares of gunmakers Smith & Wesson Brands Inc. and Sturm Ruger & Co. after four mostly lean years for investors. Gun shop owners and Wall Street analysts predict new sales gains, especially if protests continue and Democratic presidential challenger Joe Biden, who supports more restrictions on firearms, maintains his lead in national polls over President Donald Trump. [Continue reading…]