Gun stocks posted solid gains Friday as President Donald Trump spoke at the National Rifle Association’s annual convention.
Sturm Ruger and American Outdoor Brands have been under pressure over the past year during a period of lackluster gun sales in the U.S. Investors are wary of the outlook for consumer demand, which typically peaks during Democratic administrations, when buyers fear new firearm restrictions.
But Trump’s comments in support of gun rights helped manufacturers mount a rally.
Shares of Sturm Ruger jumped 2.8%, with gains accelerating after Trump took the podium. American Outdoor Brands, the owner of Smith & Wesson, ended the day 1.3% higher. The stock rallied as much as 2.6% during the speech.
“Your Second Amendment rights are under siege, but they will never, ever be under siege as long as I am president,” Trump said at the NRA convention in Dallas.
Some lawmakers on Capitol Hill renewed calls to pass new gun-control measures following a deadly shooting at a Parkland, Florida, high school, where 17 people were killed.
Trump has thrown his support behind proposals to fix the federal background check system and allow teachers to carry guns on school property. As part of a school safety agenda, he has also called on states to pass Extreme Risk Protection Order laws, under which citizens can petition a court to confiscate firearms temporarily from an individual who is considered a threat.
Trump previously told lawmakers they should consider raising the federal minimum purchase age for rifles to 21 from 18, a development that weighed on shares of gun makers at the time. The age limit, however, was not included in the policy agenda.
Trump told attendees at the NRA convention that armed teachers and security guards are a deterrent.
“Ninety-eight percent of mass public shootings have occurred in places guns are banned,” he said. “Tragically, there’s no sign more inviting to a mass killer than a sign that declares this school is a gun-free zone.”