Gun Maker Stocks Sliding, Democrats Propose Act to Curb Assault Rifle Tragedies

NEW YORK (TheStreet) --Shares of gun makers such as Smith & Wesson (SWHC) and Sturm, Ruger & Co. (RGR) are declining today, and one possible factor contributing to the fall is the introduction of a bill by Democrats called the "Help End Assault Rifles Tragedy Act," Bloomberg TV anchor Julie Hyman reported on "Bloomberg Markets" Tuesday afternoon.

Sturm, Ruger & Co. stock is down 3.07% to $67.57 this afternoon and Smith & Wesson stock is falling 2.42% to $28.64.

HEART, as the act is also known, seeks to make it illegal for children under the age of 16 to acquire or fire a machine gun or assault rifle. The bill would cover all AK and AR style firearms, Hyman said, citing a statement from the bill's sponsors.

Democrats have been trying to pass stricter gun legislation as the number of shootings in the U.S. rises. Most recently the terrorist attack at a nightclub in Orlando, FL has sparked a call for further gun control in the U.S. Additionally, five police officers in Dallas were killed last Thursday when a sniper opened fire at a rally protesting police violence.

Gun maker stocks tend to rise in the wake of mass shootings as demand for weapons increases amid fear of stricter gun control measures.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings has set a "buy" rating and a score of B+ on Smith & Wesson stock. This is driven by some important positives, which TheStreet Ratings believes should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks it covers.

The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth and compelling growth in net income. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, TheStreet Ratings feels they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results.

TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: SWHC

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