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Gun stocks fell slightly on Wednesday after midterm elections divided power in Congress with Democrats winning back the House and Republicans strengthening their grip in the Senate.
The new dynamic means the risk of congressional gridlock is higher, which will help preserve the legislative status quo on gun control.
Shares of American Outdoor Brands Corporation, parent company of Smith & Wesson, were down slightly Wednesday morning. Sturm, Ruger & Co., which sells the Ruger rifles and handguns, was down 1.5 percent. Shares of Utah-based Vista Outdoor, which owns several gun-related brands, were flat.
Shares of both AOBC and Vista Outdoor had briefly rallied earlier Wednesday morning.
Gun control has long been considered an important issue for many voters, fueled by recent high-profile mass shootings in schools, houses of worship and elsewhere.
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, who could return to her position as House speaker after the new Congress is sworn in, said before the election that Democrats would pursue strengthening background checks on gun purchases if they took back control of the House.
Democrats have historically advocated for tougher gun control, but with pro-gun Republicans controlling the Senate, it will frustrate any attempts to tighten gun laws.
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