Firearm sales are surging across the country in response to President Barack Obama’s promise to pursue new gun control laws in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, CT.
According to a December 18 Fox News report, shortly after the massacre, consumers began buying huge numbers of AR-15 rifles — the same type used by shooter Adam Lanza — in preparation for Congress to reinstate the assault weapons ban:
–The Colorado Bureau of Investigation says it set a new record for single-day background check submittals this past weekend.
–In San Diego, Northwest Armory gun store owner Karl Durkheimer said Saturday “was the biggest day we’ve seen in 20 years. Sunday will probably eclipse that.”
–In southwest Ohio, from dawn to dusk a Cincinnati gun show had a line of 400 waiting to get in, said Joe Eaton of the Buckeye Firearms Association. ”Sales were through the roof on Saturday,” said Eaton. “People were buying everything they could out of fear the president would try to ban certain guns and high-capacity magazines.”
The initial sales surge has proven surprisingly durable in the days since the shooting. Several gun store owners told Outdoor Life’s John Haughey that the weekend before Christmas was one of their busiest ever.
One weapons company, Brownells Inc. — which claims to be the world’s largest supplier of firearms accessories and gunsmithing tools — says that it sold an astonishing three and a half years worth of ammunition magazines in three days after the Newtown shooting.
This is the second major surge in gun sales over the past two months; they also rose sharply directly after President Obama’s re-election on November 6th.
The rapidly rising sales help to explain the motivation behind the NRA’s inflammatory response to the Newtown shooting. Although Wayne LaPierre’s defiant speech and appearance on Meet The Press were widely panned, they kept guns in the headlines, which have kept gun sales high. Over the past seven years, the gun industry has donated between $14.7 million and $38.9 million to the NRA’s corporate-giving campaign; even if Congress does reinstate the assault weapons ban in the coming months, it’s pretty clear that the NRA has gotten a good bang for its buck.
Photo by “Chris and Jenni” via Flickr.com