Gun Stocks Soar On Report Trump Set To Ease Export Rules

In a week in which the MIC already scored big with Monday's sale of Orbital, today it was the NRA's turn to rejoice, when gun stocks soared on a Reuters report that the Trump administration was preparing "to make it easier for American gun makers to sell small arms, assault rifles and ammunition" to foreign buyers. The stocks of Ruger, Smith & Wesson and American Outdoor brands have all soared by as much as 18% on the news.

According to Reuters sources, aides to President Donald Trump - which these days mostly includes retired army generasl - are completing a plan to shift oversight of international non-military firearms sales from the State Department to the Commerce Department. The difference is that while the State Department is primarily concerned about international threats to stability and maintains tight restrictions on weapons deals, the Commerce Department typically focuses more on facilitating trade, in other words growing it.

“The NSC is working through the interagency process with the State Department and the Department of Commerce to ensure that U.S. industries have every advantage in the global marketplace, while at the same time ensuring the responsible export of arms,” said an official with the White House National Security Council.

And that's how Trump repays the NRA for its support during his campaign: the National Rifle Association spent more than $30 million in support of his candidacy. “I am going to come through for you,” Trump told the NRA convention in April.

He now has.

The new rules will reportedly cut government red tape and regulatory costs, boosting U.S. exports of small arms and creating jobs at home.

“There will be more leeway to do arms sales,” one senior administration official said. “You could really turn the spigot on if you do it the right way.”


The push fits both Trump’s support for the gun lobby espoused on the campaign trail and his “Buy American” agenda.

Critics, among them lawmakers and arms control advocates, have expressed concern that any easing of export rules could make powerful weapons of the type often used in U.S. mass shootings more accessible to criminal gangs and militants that Trump has vowed to fight. Of course, Trump has also vowed to stimulate the economy and having failed to do so so far, will take whatever he can get.

The new rules have been largely finalized according to Reuters, and could be sent to the White House budget office for review within days. The changes which can be implemented without congressional approval could be made public this fall, followed by a period of public comment, with implementation as early as the first half of next year, the officials said. The officials stressed, however, that the proposed shift in oversight was not a blanket deregulation of firearms.

While details are lacking, gun investors are shooting first, so to say, and asking questions much later.

Ironically, the potential foreign boost in sales comes at an awkward time for domestic sales, which have slumped after Obama left the presidency, and took away the persistent threat of gun confiscation. Reuters has more details:

The move, part of a broader Trump administration overhaul of weapons export policy that the officials say is also nearing completion, comes at a time when U.S. gun makers could use the help.


Domestic gun sales have fallen significantly after soaring under President Barack Obama, when gun enthusiasts stockpiled weapons and ammunition out of fear that the government would tighten gun laws.

Since Trump was elected in November, the share price for Smith & Wesson owner American Outdoor Brands Corp is down 50% and Sturm Ruger has fallen 26 percent. And, as the chart below shows, both brands stand to benefit from easier export protocols, alongside Vista Outdoor and the private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management, which owns the Bushmaster AR-15 assault rifle.


RumpleShitzkin hedgeless_horseman Tue, 09/19/2017 - 16:27 Permalink

FNH manufactures in the US. (Columbia, SC and McLean VA)
Ditto HK. (Newington, NH)
Ditto Glock. (Smyrna, GA)

Edit: Add Sig to the list.

SIG SAUER, Inc. Awarded the U.S. Army Contract for its New Modular Handgun System (MHS)
Published Date: 01/20/2017
Manufactured in New Hampshire

And don't think you are Joe Patriot if you bought a Springfield Armory pistol in polymer.

Made In Brazil

In reply to by hedgeless_horseman

PoorWhiteMan hedgeless_horseman Tue, 09/19/2017 - 16:19 Permalink

Depends on how you classify that comment. FN is the only one you list that makes heavy machine guns and SAW's. HK does well in small arms as does Sig Sauer. But LMT just got a Philippine military contract? Daniel Defense sells rifles to SOCOM and JSOC like they're going out of style. Then there are companies like LaRue, GA precision, Knight's Armament that also sell to SOCOM and JSOC. And whatever JSOC and SOCOM are buying every spec ops forces on the planet follows suit. So in short your comment is false. American weapon manufacturers are the standard for precision and reliability. You just don't know a hell of a lot about it.

In reply to by hedgeless_horseman

0valueleft PoorWhiteMan Tue, 09/19/2017 - 17:50 Permalink

Yeah, and the new Jeeps are tough as the CJ series. Where I live every jackass drives a new jeep with a factory Led light bar and shows up to the range with the latest tacticool gadget m-loked to there over populated rail from all the companies you mentioned, who are the standard for making you think you have to spend tons of money to look like the guys in the movies. They do look the part, except for being 150 pds overweight and shooting from a bench with a shiney gun. The cookie cut militia, not impressed.

In reply to by PoorWhiteMan

clade7 NickyGall Tue, 09/19/2017 - 17:38 Permalink

I just got myself a 6 cal Webley Vickers double action Automatic pump Shitgum!  Its got halogen sights, titanium receiver, over under breechload option, Cochise Thumbhole stock! I reload it with 220gr of Winchester 760 ball, Norco primers, and recycled D cell batteries for slugs!  You know what I'm saying? (This is what I like to tell my Lib BIL...of course like you, he dont know shit from apple butter about guns)

In reply to by NickyGall

NumNutt gatorengineer Tue, 09/19/2017 - 16:07 Permalink

Actually I am a big gun nut, got a nice collection.  I am hoping that this means ammo is going to be more available, haven't been able to buy a 500 round brick of 22 LR's in a helluv a long time.  I was just being sarcastic. Shit my state is a legal conceal carry with no documentation, and yes everyone tends to be very polite to each other...

In reply to by gatorengineer

Ben A Drill Tue, 09/19/2017 - 15:56 Permalink

Let California have the right to have more than 10 rounds per magazine. Allow pistol grips, and detachable magazines. Folding stocks and silencers. Is that asking to much?