Gun sales surge in wake of Orlando shooting, but this time with a difference

Gun sales surge in wake of Orlando shooting, but this time with a difference
Image: viicha/Shutterstock

Gun sales are suddenly through the roof again, though that seems to be the norm any time there is a mass shooting incident in the U.S. It happened after Sandy Hook and after Aurora.

Two main fears underlie this cause-and-effect, according to arms dealer Jay Wallace. One is the fear that the government is going to confiscate firearms or take some other extreme action to curtail Americans’ Second Amendment rights. The other is a general fear of the fractious times we live in.

This time around there’s one important difference: the profile of the customers. According to Fox Denver affiliate KDVR, Colorado Springs firearms instructor has been closely tracking the surge in gun sales since last Sunday’s massacre at a gay night club in Orlando. What he has seen is an increase in firearms purchases by members of the LGBT community.

The Pink Pistols is a national gun club for gays and lesbians. It saw its membership soar from about 1,500 members on Saturday to 3,500 on Monday.

Dozens of new chapters are springing up, including one Smith is creating in Colorado Springs. He said it’s something he feels compelled to do, even though he’s heterosexual.

Whether this development will have any bearing on the debate on guns laws raging in Congress and breaking largely along ideological lines remains to be seen.

With a few exceptions, gays and lesbians tend to ally with Democrats, if not vote the party line. According to Gallup survey taken around the time of the 2012 presidential election, 44% of LGBT Americans identified as Democrats while only 13% identified as Democrats Republicans.

Ben Bowles

Ben Bowles

Ben Bowles is a freelance writer.


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