Firearm-related stocks fell Wednesday as President Trump confirmed a “very strong appetite” in Congress for tightening background check requirements for gun purchases.
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Gun manufacturers Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc., Smith & Wesson parent company American Outdoor Brands Corp. and ammunition maker Vista Outdoor Inc. were all down Wednesday, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average also tracked slightly lower.
Two shootings in 13 hours last weekend brought the gun control debate back into the national conversation. A shooter in El Paso, Texas, killed 22 people Saturday morning, injuring 24 others, at a Walmart using a 7.62-caliber weapon, police said. Another shooting in Dayton, Ohio, left nine people dead and 27 injured. That attacker used a .223-caliber firearm with a 100-round magazine drum, both of which were purchased legally.
As he was leaving the White House to visit Dayton on Wednesday, Trump told reporters that there is “no political appetite” for an assault weapons ban, but he said he would bring it up during an upcoming meeting with members of Congress. He did say he is "looking to do background checks."
“There's a great appetite -- and I mean a very strong appetite -- for background checks,” Trump said before boarding Marine One on the White House South Lawn. “And I think we can bring up background checks like we've never had before. I think both Republican and Democrat are getting close to a bill on -- they're doing something on background checks.”