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Gun stocks surge on report Trump is preparing to ease rules for overseas sales of US guns

  • Stocks of U.S. gun makers climbed Tuesday, with Sturm Ruger hitting its highest since early August.
  • Reuters reported, citing senior U.S. officials, that new White House policy could make it easier for U.S. gun makers to sell to foreigners.
  • A draft could be set to the White House budget office for review within days, one U.S. official told the news agency.

Shares of Sturm Ruger surged Tuesday after a Reuters report, citing senior U.S. officials, said the Trump administration is preparing to make it easier for U.S. gun makers to sell small arms to foreigners.

The stock closed up 13.7 percent at its highest since early August and posting its best day in more than two years.

Shares of American Outdoor Brands, once known as Smith & Wesson, closed up 10.1 percent, their best day since November.

Shares of Vista Outdoor rose 3 percent.

Four officials told Reuters that aides to President Donald Trump are completing a plan to shift oversight of international non-military firearms sales from the security-focused State Department to the trade-focused Commerce Department.

A draft of the new rules could be set to the White House budget office for review within days, one U.S. official told Reuters.

The White House did not immediately respond to a CNBC request for comment.

The changes can be implemented without congressional approval and could be made public this fall, the officials said. They added that a period of public comment would follow a potential announcement and implementation could come as early as the first half of next year.

The small arms sales would include assault rifles and ammunition, the Reuters report said.

Gun sales have fallen after Trump's election win due to waning urgency to buy guns ahead of potentially tighter regulation. Vista and American Outdoor Brands are down more than 40 percent since the U.S. presidential election, while Sturm Ruger is off 23 percent since then.