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Oct 16 (Reuters) – Shares of gun makers have been gaining ground as Democratic candidate Joe Biden leads polls, and if he wins the presidential election in November there are expectations of a renewed surge in gun sales that could drive shares even higher.

Shares of Smith & Wesson Brands and Sturm Ruger have both rallied around 8% since late September, mirroring Biden’s widening lead in the polls since his debate against President Donald Trump. The S&P 500 is up 4% in that period.

Fears about the coronavirus pandemic, civil unrest related to protests over racial justice and worries about a potentially disputed presidential election on Nov. 3 have created a surge in gun demand this year. Smith & Wesson CEO Mark Smith last month said the industry was unable to keep up with demand.

A victory by Biden and his vice presidential running mate Kamala Harris, who favor increased gun regulation, could further stoke demand for firearms – and shares of firearms makers – particularly if Democrats wrest control of the Senate from Republicans, giving them majorities in both houses of Congress and making it easier to approve legislation.

“Should we see a Biden-Harris administration get elected, I would anticipate a surge in sales of modern sporting rifles, high-capacity magazines and