Orlando shooting
Orlando shootingReuters

In the immediate aftermath of the Orlando massacre, shares of weapon-manufacturing companies Smith & Wesson and Sturm Ruger have recorded a gain.

The Smith and Wesson share increased nearly 7 percent and Sturm Ruger's stock was up nearly 9 percent on Monday, according to a report by Reuters.

Smith & Wesson, according to People magazine, which was cited by the Reuters report, is the maker of the handgun AR-15 that shooter Omar Mateen used in what has been described as the worst incident of mass shooting on American soil that led to 49 casualties and 53 injuries.

Smith & Wesson shares are up over 40 percent over the past year. They also reported their earnings on Thursday.

Do tragedies fuel gun sales?

A rational explanation suggests citizens are stockpiling guns as they are concerned about their safety, and worried at the prospect of more stringent gun ownership rules.

The phenomenon has been witnessed before.

For instance, gun sales numbers, as indicated by the U.S. National Instant Criminal Background Check System inquiries, increased 63 percent to 5.3 million from the year before in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre that led to the death of 20 children and six teachers in Connecticut.

As a result of the mass shooting in Connecticut, overall gun sales dropped after a proposal by the senate to impose nationwide background checks on the sales of guns failed by a handful of votes.

According to the FBI, after the San Bernardino incident of mass shooting that led to 14 deaths in California, gun sales surged to a record 3.3 million last December, and have been an average of more than 2 million a month since then.

Data also suggests incidents of mass shooting are rising. According to Vox, Orlando was one of 43 shootings on Sunday.

The industry, meanwhile, has seen a double-digit growth since last summer.

U.N. Human Rights Commission chief reignites debate

UNHRC chief Zeid Raad Al Hussein lambasted United States policies and reignited the gun control debate, saying the U.S. must protect its citizens from "horrifyingly commonplace but preventable violent attacks that are the direct result of insufficient gun control."

"It is hard to find a rational justification that explains the ease with which people can buy firearms, including assault rifles, in spite of prior criminal backgrounds, drug use, histories of domestic violence and mental illness, or direct contact with extremists – both domestic and foreign," Hussein was quoted as saying by UN news centre.

Notably, Omar Mateen had obtained the weapons legally. 

Hussein's remarks coincided with the release of a new UNHRC report that highlights the "devastating impact" of gun violence in society due to the civilian acquisition, possession and use of firearms.

"How many more mass killings of school-children, of co-workers, of African-American churchgoers — how many more individual shootings of talented musicians like Christina Grimmie, or politicians like Gabrielle Giffords, will it take before the United States adopts robust gun regulation?" said Hussein.

"That is the least that is owed to the relatives of all those children, women and men whose lives have been snatched from them by gunmen from a wide variety of backgrounds in the Orlando nightclub, at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, at the Methodist Church in downtown Charleston, and at so many other homes, schools, colleges and other venues across the United States," he said.

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