(LA TIMES) Gun maker Smith & Wesson Holdings Corp. said its fiscal third-quarter earnings more than tripled from the previous year as Americans hurried to purchase firearms amid wrangling by lawmakers around the country over stricter weapons laws.

Covering the three months ended Jan. 31, the results span a period in which a mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school that left 20 children dead elevated the national conversation on firearm restrictions.

In response, some gun advocates have rushed to buy firearms in anticipation of tighter laws controlling the sale of guns and ammunition. Many firearms makers, including Smith & Wesson, have reported a surge in sales in the last few months.

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