Upsurge in gun sales is about self-protection more than fear of confiscation

Upsurge in gun sales is about self-protection more than fear of confiscation

[Ed. – Although concern about confiscation — or, more accurately, prohibition and unavailability — is a real and continuing factor, Kaminsky is probably onto something here.  His point would apply more to NEW gun-buyers and trainees, however.  Emphasis added.]

Something has changed.

Last week my wife said to me, “I think I’d like to get a gun.” By which she meant a gun she can carry with her. If my wife were from Texas, this might not be surprising. But she is from Australia, a country which for two decades has had restrictive firearms laws and whose citizens largely do not understand Americans’ commitment to protecting gun rights.

She has long been politely but barely tolerant of my interest in guns, of the fact that I have more than a few of them, and of my treating target practice as something important, not simply a sport or hobby — though it is those things as well. She has gone from forbearing to interested, an evolution I never expected to witness.

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I asked my wife — now an American citizen — what spurred her interest in something which had previously frightened her. The intensity of her answer, even more than the words themselves, surprised me: “San Bernardino has convinced me that as long as Barack Obama is president, terrorists will be emboldened. And I’m afraid that as long as Barack Obama is president they will have an easier time getting into the country than they should.” …

I interviewed the manager of a prominent Denver area gun store, training center, and shooting range to discuss the current state of his industry. We shall use the initials GM for him as he preferred to remain anonymous.

Ross Kaminsky: Thinking about “runs on guns” in recent years, such as after the mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, how does the current increase in sales compare?

Gun Store Manager: The aftermath of the Newtown shooting was an immediate and concentrated period of intense buying of both guns and ammo. I personally attribute a significant portion of that to the political climate as the political class started to immediately jockey for the moral high ground and we saw people buying guns “while they could” before more restrictive legislation was put in place.

We basically sold out of ARs and popular handguns in a couple weeks in December 2012. … Our main focus for 2013 ended up being “how do we find enough merchandise (mainly guns and ammo) to have something (anything) to sell?” There was just no merchandise readily available for months.

After the most recent Paris terrorist attack we started to see some more interest in guns, ammo, and training. After the San Bernardino terror attack, it picked up exponentially. In terms of last year to this year, we are over double the gun sales for Dec 1-8 year to year.

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