According to data shared online, shares in several gun companies spiked Wednesday as protesters stormed the Capitol building, with American firearms and ammunition manufacturer Smith & Wesson’s stock price climbing 15%.
In addition, shares in gun manufacturer Sturm, Ruger & Co. jumped in value Wednesday.
— Kamaron Leach (@Kamaron) January 6, 2021
DC's Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) on Wednesday also revealed that at least five weapons have been recovered and at least 13 people have been arrested thus far in connection to the protests, the Associated Press reported. In addition, one unidentified woman who was shot in the US Capitol during the unrest died Wednesday evening, according to Dustin Sternbeck, a spokesman for the DC police.
When Americans face uncertainty or are concerned about personal safety, they tend to buy firearms, according to a report by the Brookings Institution.
In fact, an analysis by firearms research consultancy Small Arms Analytics reveals that Americans had bought at least 17 million guns in the first 10 months of 2020, which is more than any other year. Gun sales across the US first spiked in the spring over fears regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and then surged even higher during the summer as racial justice protests swept across the country following police killings of Black Americans.
“By August, we had exceeded last year’s total. By September, we exceeded the highest total ever,” said Jurgen Brauer, the chief economist of Small Arms Analytics, The Guardian reported in October.
According to Brauer, the previous US record for firearms sold in a single year was 16.6 million 2016, when former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ran against Trump in that year's presidential election.
Demonstrators on Wednesday congregated to oppose the certification of the 2020 election results, as Congress was scheduled to confirm Biden’s victory under the Electoral Count Act of 1887. Last month, the Electoral College established Biden as the winner of the 2020 presidential election, giving him a majority of 306 electoral votes to Trump's 232.
In response to the unrest on Wednesday, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser has issued a citywide curfew from 6 p.m. Wednesday to 6 a.m. Thursday.