Gun sales will rise this year, analysts said, after the president appeared to endorse a push for a ban on assault weapons during a presidential debate.
Shares of gun makers Smith & Wesson Holding Corp and Sturm Ruger & Co Inc. rose on speculation that gun enthusiasts would stock up fearing that the re-election of President Barack Obama would lead to stricter gun laws.
During the second presidential debate last month, Obama appeared to endorse a push for a ban on assault weapons if he were to win a second term.
"The re-election of President Obama should drive political firearm sales," Benchmark & Co. analyst Mike Greene said.
But while analysts agree that gun sales will rise this year, as they did when Obama first won the presidency in 2008, they are less certain about the passage of any anti-gun legislation.
Obama has affirmed the right to bear arms in the past.
"The administration has not really lifted a finger in the last four years to tighten gun control legislation," said Wedbush Securities analyst Rommel Dionisio, who covers the gunmakers.
"There is a consumer fear that Obama will tighten gun control legislation, but whether or not they will do it this time I don't know," Dionisio said.
Smith and Wesson shares were up 7.6 percent at $10.18 in afternoon trade on the Nasdaq, while those of Sturm Ruger were up 5.9 percent at $47.27 on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday. The overall market <.DJI> was down 2.2 percent.
(Reporting by Siddharth Cavale in Bangalore; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)