Coal for Ruger: down more than 4 percent Wednesday

Shares of Fairfield-based gunmaker Sturm Ruger fell more than 4 percent the day after Christmas, while industrial gas maker Praxair in Danbury and Westport-based industrial equipment maker Terex clung to slight gains.

Ruger seemingly faces some difficulties ahead as gunmakers face a push by federal and some state lawmakers to find a way to reduce unbalanced individuals’ access to arsenals of privately held firearms in the wake of the massacre in Newtown.

Ruger and fellow New England gunmaker Smith and Wesson, have not publicly commented on the situation as lawmakers discuss banning military styled rifles and clips of ammunition holding a high number of rounds.

The two companies, are, however, strong supporters of the National Rifle Association, whose chief executive officer has been widely ridiculed for suggesting more guns are needed in a country where access to guns by the insane and by criminals has become all too easy.

Ruger gave the NRA more than $1 million last year, and Smith & Wesson’s website has a link to the NRA for those interested in joining the group.

An email to Ruger asking if the firm intends on providing more monetary assistance to the NRA this year, went unanswered.

In the meantime, the price of Ruger was down, but that doesn’t mean the stock is not valuable. As SeekingAlpha pointed out earlier this week, institutional investors seem interested in owning it and Smith and Wesson.

In the meantime, a few local companies clung to gains in the market. Terex was up almost 1 percent, Praxair was up 0.21 percent, and Emcore and Ethan Allen were also up slightly, heading into the afternoon.

Rob Varnon