These are interesting days in the United States, that’s for sure.
I was speaking to a friend last weekend who works at one of the largest gun stores in our region (and, incidentally, is black). I asked him if he had seen an increase in gun sales during the scamdemic and the riots, and he nearly spit out his drink. “Lady, you have no idea,” he said. “We have been working around the clock since all this madness began.” They have every staffer working every day trying to meet demand.
I did not fully appreciate what he was talking about until we stopped by his store this afternoon. The store was so crowded that literally every parking spot was full. People were parking down the street and walking blocks to the gun store. Now, bear in mind, this is not a small place. They probably have as many parking spaces as the average suburban grocery store.
Inside, you could barely even walk around it was so crowded. The cases of guns had probably half their capacity and the aisles of ammunition looked like a toilet paper aisle in April. There were people everywhere, standing against walls and sitting on top of equipment, playing on their smartphones or staring blankly into space, waiting for their background checks to come through. Staff warned customers that due to record demand for guns, the state was now taking up to 24 hours to process background checks. This is in a state with two million concealed carry permit holders (which cuts down on required background checks because CC holders have already had one). That alone suggests most of the people in line were first-time buyers.
We left and went to Bass Pro Shop. We watched a couple buy the last rifle in the store. What was left of their handguns had been moved to a single small display. There was essentially no ammo left in the store.
I have never seen anything like this in my life, and I lived in Los Angeles during the Rodney King riots.
I began to wonder how many guns were being purchased in the US lately. According to the FBI NICS firearm background check page (which gives an estimate of how many guns are being sold, but understates the total sales, as not all transactions involve a federal background check), the record for firearm sales was set last year at 28.4 million background checks. Through May of this year, over 15 million background checks had been performed.
What’s really striking about this trend is the percentage of purchases that are first-time gun owners:
More than two million Americans became first-time gun owners this year.
Current events are making folks think differently about protection.
A pandemic and civil unrest in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death has people buying weapons, many of who have never owned a gun before, according to gun store owners FOX 35 News spoke to.
“And that’s the push they needed to at least get something to defend their homes and to feel protected,” said Ethan Sansoni, the general manager of FrogBones in Melbourne, a shooting center and gun store…
About 1.7 million guns were sold in May alone, according to the data.
“We’re busy, very busy with lots of people coming in,” Sansoni said. “There’s a lot of people who are brand new…”
Data shows that 40 percent of these new gun owners are women.
If it seems like gun sales are smashing records, that’s because they are:
Gun sales have skyrocketed during the past three months, and a record-breaking 80.2 percent increase in sales was reported in May compared to last year, according to the shooting foundation. April’s data showed a 71.3 percent increase from 2019, and there was an 85.3 percent increase in March, according to information previously released by Small Arms Analytics and Forecasting…
The concealed carry association provides training education and legal assistance to more than 350,000 people, and has also reported a spike in new membership, particularly first-time owners in the previous months, a spokesperson has said.
Right now, that data only reflects the coronavirus panic. Couple that with movements now to “defund the police,” with activists and leftist politicians spinning tales about a world where police forces cease to exist, but are instead replaced with a spike in social spending and people singing Kumbaya around the campfire, and who knows how many guns are going to fly off the shelves.
In a world where many people have come to distrust political polling, that’s a form of political polling in itself.
Those two million first-time gun owners, do you think they are going to vote for Biden, who wants to put Beto in charge of firearms policy? I don’t. I suspect the coronavirus shutdowns and identity politics-driven riots have red-pilled a very large number of people. At the very least, a trip to a gun store in swing-state Florida should scare the hell out of the Democratic Party. And I was a skeptic about how this state would handle the politics of current events. Not anymore.
Another interesting tidbit – there were a lot of black folks in the gun store, and many of them were sporting Trump gear. If you think you can predict how the black community perceives these events, think again. The black community is not a monolithic group, and it’s becoming less so by the day. These guys may not be making time for Twitter wars, but they do have political opinions and opinions about the chaos taking over our country in this election cycle. There’s a reason candidates in the past have not run on the issue of gun control. It’s not just a white redneck male issue.