I continue to be amazed at the tone-deaf response by gun control activists to the surge in demand for firearms from millions of Americans, including many first-time gun buyers. Around 2.5-million background checks for firearms were conducted in March, and based on what we’re hearing from gun store owners and employees across the country, many of those background checks were for people who’ve never owned a gun before.
A friend who works at a gun shop in Farmville, Virginia told me today that he estimates about 75% of customers over the past six weeks were there to buy their first gun, and many of them were older women who are purchasing a firearm for self-defense. These aren’t ladies who are picking up a gun to shoot the coronavirus, as gun control advocates have snarkily suggested. They’re concerned about a rise in violent crime, just like an increasing number of law enforcement officials, from Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva (yes, the same sheriff who tried to shut down gun stores) to prosecutors and sheriffs in Washington State. Not only is the coronavirus hitting police and sheriffs departments hard, reducing the number of personnel on the street, but thousands of inmates are being released from jails and prisons across the country in an effort to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus behind bars.
It’s entirely reasonable to want a gun for self-defense at the moment, and the National Rifle Association, Second Amendment Foundation, Firearms Policy Coalition, Gun Owners of America, and many state-level Second Amendment organizations are fighting to ensure that Americans still have access to their rights during this state of emergency by filing lawsuits against elected officials who are ordering gun stores and ranges closed and, in some cases, putting a halt to the issuance of concealed carry licenses.