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Gun maker stocks leap forward in 2016 as sales rise and concerns over safety, gun rights grow

Gun maker stocks are surging in a slumping market, as new federal data indicates a sales jump after 2015 ended with more mass shootings and growing political pressure to tighten regulation.

Recently released numbers from the National Instant Criminal Background Check System show that background checks jumped about 38 per cent last month. Wedbush Securities analyst James Hardiman says that indicates a sizeable sales increase during the year’s final month.

That follows mass shootings in Paris and San Bernardino, California, and indications from the White House that President Obama plans to tighten gun laws.

Hardiman says these developments all spur sales growth by making people feel less secure about both their safety and gun rights.

Shares of Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. and Sturm, Ruger & Co. are climbing.