The Orlando mass shooting, the worst in this country's history, has re-ignited the debate about gun control. Mass shootings have a way of boosting gun sales as people fear new laws could take away their guns. That has been the case for gun manufacturers Smith & Wesson (SWHC) and Sturm, Ruger (RGR - Get Report) ?

These stocks traded to their 2016 highs together on March 18 in reaction to positive earnings Smith & Wesson released on March 3. But since then these stocks have been sliding.

Smith & Wesson reports earnings for its quarter ended in June after the closing bell on June 16. Analysts expect the company to earn 54 cents a share. The gun maker has a 19-quarter consecutive earnings-per-share winning streak on the line.

Sturm, Ruger will not report earnings until July 26, but this stock tends to follow the ups and downs from Smith & Wesson.

Here's the daily chart for Smith & Wesson.

 

Courtesy of MetaStock Xenith

Smith & Wesson closed at $21.86 on Tuesday, down just 0.5% year to date but is in bear market territory 28.2% below its 52-week high of $30.44 set on March 18. The stock is up 14% from its 2016 low of $19.18 set on Jan. 20.

The stock has been above a "golden cross" since March 10, 2015, when the stock closed at $13.67. A "golden cross" occurs when the 50-day simple moving average crosses above its 200-day simple moving average and indicates that higher prices lie ahead. Given this positive technical formation, it is usually a prudent strategy to buy weakness to the 200-day simple moving average now at $21.53 and tested in six of the last seven trading days. The in-between trading high has been $23.89 on June 13, in reaction to the Orlando terror attack.

Here's the weekly chart for Smith & Wesson.

Courtesy of MetaStock Xenith

The weekly chart for Smith & Wesson is negative but oversold with the stock below its key weekly moving average of $22.69 and well above its 200-week simple moving average of $13.93, last tested during the week of Dec. 23, 2011, when the average was $4.17. As shown at the lower left of the chart this stock traded below $3 a share, which I define as an "option on survival." The weekly momentum reading is projected to decline to 16.01 this week down from 19.22 on June 10, becoming more oversold below the 20.00 threshold.

Investors looking to buy Smith & Wesson should consider doing so on weakness to $19.79, which is a key level on technical charts until the end of June. The $13.86 level is the downside risk for the remainder of 2016.

Investors looking to reduce holdings should consider selling strength to $22.90, which is a key level on technical charts until the end of June.

Here's the daily chart for Sturm, Ruger.

 

Courtesy of MetaStock Xenith

Sturm, Ruger closed at $59.68 on Tuesday, up just 0.1% year to date but is in bear market territory 23.6% below its 52-week high of $78.09 set on March 18. The stock is up 20.3% from its 2016 low of $49.62 set on Jan. 15.

The stock had been above a "golden cross" between April 2, 2015 and Dec. 1, 2015, when the stock rose from $49.54 to $51.92. With Smith & Wesson still above its "golden cross" investors should not have viewed this as a sell signal. A "golden cross" was re-confirmed on Feb. 8 when the stock closed at $63.78. This signal was in play when the stock traded as high as $78.09 on March 18. Sturm, Ruger has not been above to sustain strength above its 200-day simple moving average now at $61.84, after trading as high as $63.56 on June 13.

Here's the weekly chart for Sturm, Ruger.

Courtesy of MetaStock Xenith

The weekly chart for Sturm, Ruger is negative but oversold with the stock below its key weekly moving average of $63.28 and just above its 200-week simple moving average of $56.02, which has been four times: to the downside during the week Oct. 31, 2014, to the upside during the week of Feb. 27, 2015, then between the weeks of Nov. 6, 2015, and Jan. 22, 2016. The weekly momentum reading is projected to decline to 14.58 this week down from 17.76 on June 10, becoming more oversold below the 20.00 threshold.

Investors looking to buy Sturm Ruger should consider doing so on weakness to $52.30, which is a key level on technical charts until the end of June.

Investors looking to reduce holdings should consider selling strength to $65.66 and $66.56, which are key levels on technical charts until the end of June and the end of 2016, respectively.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.