With June gun sales reported at record highs, I figured today would be a great time to sit down for a conversation with a gun store owner to get their perspective on the surge in support for the Second Amendment. Tiffany Teasdale owns Lynwood Gun in Lynwood, Washington, and she’s seen first hand just how many people are embracing their right to keep and bear arms for the first time in their lives.
Teasdale says since March, the number of first-time gun owners walking through her doors has increased by about 90%, and many of them aren’t conservatives. In fact, Teasdale says she has conversations on a regular basis with customers who are upset about Washington State’s restrictive gun control laws, including a ten-day waiting period for handguns, only to discover that these customers had no problem voting for the gun control laws in referendums or by backing anti-gun politicians over the past few years.
On a practical level, Teasdale says many folks are choosing to purchase a shotgun, which doesn’t require a waiting period, instead of a pistol for home defense. On a political level, she’s hoping that these new gun owners will start thinking more about the choices they make in the voting booth, and help to elect candidates that will protect our Second Amendment rights instead of trying to turn the exercise of the right into a criminal offense.
Lynwood Gun strives to be a welcoming place for all new gun owners, according to Teasdale, who says the store actually contracted with a local interpreter when a growing number of Mandarin-speaking gun buyers began frequenting her business back in March. Many of them had received threats or felt unsafe as the COVID-19 virus, which originated in China, was spiking in the Seattle area, but were at a loss once they walked into Teasdale’s store and couldn’t communicate with the employees.
Now, customers who speak Mandarin or Cantonese can simply look at a sign on the counter and dial up an interpreter free of charge who can help them with their order. In fact, that interpreter has even offered to go with customers as they get firearms training, so that a language barrier isn’t an impediment to learning how to be safe and responsible with a firearm.
What about supplying all those new gun owners? Teasdale says she’s been able to keep a pretty good selection of firearms in stock, but ammunition is both becoming more expensive and a little harder to find, even for high volume retailers like herself. Teasdale points out that while quite a bit of ammunition is manufactured in the United States, the same isn’t true of all component parts.
There are no more lead smelters operating in the United States, thanks in large part to the Obama administration, which means that almost all the lead used in ammunition comes from China at the moment. Prices are going up and the lead is becoming harder to find as the global supply chain is still suffering from some system shock. Ammunition manufacturers can only operate as fast as their supply of component materials allows them, and at the moment demand is simply far ahead of supply.
Will that chance anytime soon? Teasdale is doubtful, saying she expects the current surge to continue for the rest of the year and believes it could be this time next year before gun shop shelves return to normal.
Be sure to check out the entire conversation with Tiffany Teasdale above, and stick around for more news, including a woman in Texas released from prison just six months into a ten-year sentence for shooting a man in the head, a 72-year old Nashville resident who shot a 27-year old intruder, and an Atlanta cyclist in the right place at the right time to lend his bicycle to an officer attempting to arrest a murder suspect.