Handguns on display
Source: Getty Images

How Investors Can Divest in Publicly Traded Gun Companies

Robin Hill-Gray - Author
By

May 26 2022, Updated 3:33 p.m. ET

Amid the recent mass shootings, people across the nation are considering ways to support the impacted families. Many people have shown their support by donating to GoFundMe fundraisers for funeral expenses and some have advocated for gun control. If you're looking for ways to support the victims and their families, but are hitting a wall, check to see if you're invested in publicly traded gun or ammunition companies and consider divesting.

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Investing in publicly traded gun companies may be something people do unknowingly. For example, some companies may not manufacture guns but do manufacture gun equipment and ammunition. And investors who utilize securities such as ETFs and index funds may not realize their portfolio has exposure to the gun industry. Here are some publicly traded gun and ammo companies to look for.

Smith & Wesson (SWBI) is a popular, publicly traded gun company.

Man holding a Smith & Wesson gun
Source: Getty Images
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Since Smith & Wesson was founded in 1856, the company has changed hands numerous times. Currently, the company is going through a headquarter location switch. Smith & Wesson was originally headquartered in Springfield, Mass., but recently announced that it will be moving to Maryville, Tenn., in 2023 due to a Massachusetts regulation that would prevent the company from manufacturing certain firearms in the state.

In a company statement, Smith & Wesson President and CEO Mark Smith said that the firearms that would be restricted make up over 60 percent of the company’s revenue. In 2017, the company landed the number one spot for gun manufacturing annual income at $773 million, with 91 percent of sales going to domestic consumers and the other 8.8 percent going to law enforcement. SMBI currently sits at $15.24. The day range is $15.05–15.49 with a market cap of $693.58 million.

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Axon (AXON:US) specializes in law enforcement and military weapons.

Axon body camera
Source: Getty Images

Axon is an Arizona-based company that specializes in weapons for law enforcement and the military. The company was founded in 1993. While weaponry for defense industries focused mainly on guns, Axon sought to provide an alternative non-lethal weapon.

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After several years of business fluctuation, the company finally found its footing by providing products like tasers, software, and body cameras. Axon has a partner website that allows civilians to purchase products. The most popular product is the Pulse Bundle at $499.99.

The Pulse Bundle carries a Pulse device, two live cartridges, a conductive practice target, and a lithium battery. Axon describes the bundle as being trusted by law enforcement officers but built with civilian protection in mind. Axon has a market cap of $7.009 billion, a day range of $96.01–$99.41, and a current price of $98.48.

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Sturm Ruger & Company (RGR) is the largest gun manufacturer in the U.S.

Man holding a Sturm & Ruger gun
Source: Getty Images

Sturm Ruger, or simply Ruger, is based in Connecticut and is a firearm manufacturing company. It has been publicly traded since 1969. In 2017, the company was ranked third by Money Talks News for its annual income report at $517 million. The company is currently the largest gun manufacturer in the U.S. Ruger provides a selection of pistols, revolvers, rifles, and custom shop firearms.

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Ruger also has an array of gun accessories including holsters, scope rings, lasers, barrels, and magazines. The Model 8587 5.56 caliber Short Barrel Rifle and the 8580 5.56 caliber 16.10" Barrel Rifle is only used for law enforcement sales.

Ruger has manufacturing locations in Arizona, North Carolina, and New Hampshire. At the market open, RGR sat at $67.24 and is experiencing a day range between $67.00 and $68.73 with a market cap of $1.17 billion.

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Sportsman Warehouse Holdings (SPWH) is an outdoor and sporting goods store.

Sportsman Warehouse storefront
Source: Getty Images

Sportsmans Warehouse is an outdoor and sporting goods store that sells anything from camping gear to apparel. The company also sells guns and ammunition. After rebounding from Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2009, the company was acquired by the Great American Outdoors Group. Great American also functions as the parent company of Bass Pro Shops. The company boasts over 12,000 guns.

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Guns are placed in numerous categories like handguns, rifles, modern sporting rifles, shotguns, muzzleloaders, and black powder handguns. Founded in 1986 and headquartered in Midvale, Utah, the company is cross analyzed by investors who might be expecting the stock to rise after falling nearly 14 percent in a month. At the market opening, SPWH sits at $9.90 with a market cap of $434.412 million.

Big Five Sporting Goods Corporation (BGFV) has over 400 stores in the U.S.

Hunting Rifle
Source: Getty Images

Man aiming hunting rifle

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Founded in 1955 with over 400 stores in the U.S., Big Five is perhaps one of the most recognizable retailers for all things sports and outdoors. While Big Five does sell guns, it doesn't sell handguns. Most (if not all) of the gun inventory consists of pellet guns, BB guns, and air rifles.

In 2021, BGFV faced surges and swift declines. Investors say that most of the fluctuation is due to the company’s plan to provide a special dividend to investors holding stock. Since then, Big Five stock opened at $13.01, has a market cap of $293.15 million, with a day range of $13.00–$13.58

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