One big topic this year in the gun world is the boom on firearm sales. For months, gun stores all over the country have been slammed and guns are getting a little scarce. Oh, they can still be found, of course, but there is a lot of empty space in most gun stores’ cases.
Overall, this could be good for gun rights. Millions upon millions of new gun owners now have a vested interest in protecting their new investments. However, some question whether or not gun buyers will become gun voters come November.
Gun dealers and activists in Pennsylvania, Florida, and Wisconsin told the Washington Free Beacon they expect the influx of new gun owners to have a significant electoral impact.
“I’ve long said that gun owners become gun voters,” Erin Palette, Florida resident and founder of the LGBTQ gun-rights group Operation Blazing Sword, said. “These mass purchases of guns for self-defense indicates an unprecedented level of distrust by the average American of the government’s ability to keep them safe.”
“The folks already own these guns now and Wisconsin folks are gonna want to use the things they spend their money on,” Rob Kovach, president of Wisconsin Firearms Owners, said.
Swing state dealers and activists have seen a rush on their inventory as Election Day approaches. They are confident that the surge will create new gun voters, but they have yet to see new gun-rights activists. And with COVID, the economy, and civil unrest dominating the 2020 election, it is not clear gun rights will break through as a significant factor despite the stark contrast in policy proposals from Trump and Biden.
However, many dealers are noting that people buying guns are generally uninterested in the politics. That may provide a slight hurdle. Further, none of the activists have noted their ranks swelling.
The basic consensus is to just give it time.
The question is, are they right?
Well, first, it’s important to understand that not everyone who bought a gun has any interest in gun rights. The world is full of people who believe they should have a gun, but no one else should. I mean, Dianne Feinstein is a gun owner, for crying out loud. Some percentage of these gun gun owners will invariably fall into that camp.
That said, I do believe that a lot of these new gun owners are likely to start seeing the rhetoric and idiocy and it will change how they vote in enough time.
Further, we’ve heard a lot of stories where people were shocked to find out about all the regulations surrounding gun sales. Online retailers had to explain to potential customers that no, they can’t ship a gun to their house and that internet gun sales aren’t really a thing. Dealers in states with heavy gun control regulations had to explain to people that things like waiting periods were law and that they had to go through background checks regardless.
That’s likely to change a few minds, to say the least.
It’s also important to remember that gun rights activists and gun rights voters are very different animals. Plenty of people will votes based on a candidate’s stance on Second Amendment issues, but they’re not interested in protests, demonstrations, or much of anything else along those lines. That’s ultimately fine, too.
So, the while gun sales have soared, we can only hope to see a corresponding increase in gun rights voters. Let’s hope we see them come November.