Second verse, same as the first. Riots and unrest that broke out in many cities in the wake of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis last may caused a surge in gun sales at a time in which demand was already through the roof, and the spike in sales never really abated. We just saw the busiest December on record for gun sales, and over the course of 2020 nearly 21-million firearms were sold to Americans.
Still, some gun store owners say they’re anticipating another rush in the wake of violence in Washington, D.C. and the prospect of more unrest in the weeks ahead. Melissa Denny, who owns Pistol Annie’s Jewelry and Pawn in Washington State, says she expects another onslaught of customers concerned about their personal safety.
“We are absolutely going to see a surge,” Denny said. “People feel they need to protect themselves from that element of people who have lost their concern for their fellow mankind. It’s us versus them. Somewhere along the lines, people have lost the ability to revere human life.”
The storming of the Capitol will only increase sales in an already profitable time. Denny said 2020 brought new customers daily.
“People come in every day saying, ‘Never owned a gun, and never wanted wanted one,’ because they felt safe in the country, but now they feel very vulnerable,” she said.
In Alabama, pawn shop owner Tom Hand says he’s already seeing the increase in demand from customers.
“In the last week since politics really kicked into high gear,” Hand said, “we’ve noticed a dramatic increase with long-time gun owners as well as first-time gun buyers.”
While firearm demand is high – he says ammo sales are even higher.
“The hardest thing going for us right now is trying to keep product available,” he said. “It’s trickling in and pouring out.”
Los Angeles gun stores are also reporting another spike in interest in purchasing a gun.
Several area gun stores were seeing an uptick in first-time buyers. Redstone Firearms in Burbank told CBSLA it saw a sudden 40% increase in people looking to purchase a gun, take safety classes and shoot at their range.
“All of a sudden the text messages and the phone calls and the emails began to skyrocket,” Redstone Firearms co-owner Geneva Solomon told CBSLA Thursday “We woke up and just had a lot of different sales online, and today we’ve had an influx of business that we typically wouldn’t see on a Thursday.”
One of those new customers was a woman named Kimberly Bailey, who visited Redstone Firearms to pick out her very first gun.
“It’s a little scary, but I feel it’s very necessary thing to do right now,” Bailey said, adding that the safety of herself and her elderly mother is top of mind.
“It just kind of put a nail to it,” she said of the attack on the Capitol. “It’s something that I always knew that we needed to do, but yesterday, I kind of like said, ‘let’s go.’”
Bailey says that while the new purchase gives her a sense of safety, she hopes the only place she’ll have to fire is at the range.
“The biggest concern is just to know that you’re protected, you hope you never have to use anything of course, but you just want to know that you feel like you’re OK,” Bailey said.
I suspect that there are a lot of folks like Kimberly Bailey out there who are finally pulling the trigger, so to speak, on their first gun purchase; not because they’re ready to march off to fight in Civil War 2.0, but because they’re concerned about being caught in the crossfire if widespread violence does erupt.
If gun control supporters like Joe Biden really want to take steps to see fewer firearms in the hands of Americans, the best thing they could do now would be to try to de-escalate some of the tensions in the country. That would at least slow the surge in demand taking place from coast-to-coast. Instead, however, anti-gun politicians are already trying use the unrest as justification for more gun control laws, which is sure to keep demand for firearms at record-high levels and prompt people like Kimberly Bailey to embrace her right of self-defense for the first time in her life.