Why Gun Sales Increase Amid Gun Control Rhetoric

(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

There are two sure-fire ways to sell more guns. One is to talk about gun control. The other is to see a mass shooting where you just know they’re going to push gun control.

Of course, they’re not the only way. We learned in 2020 that pandemics, economic uncertainty, and riots would make a pretty good marketing strategy as well.

But gun control talk is always going to fire up sales, and that’s where we’re at now. We’re hearing a lot about gun control, and guess what happened?

The FBI conducted more background checks for firearms purchases in March — a month in which several prominent mass shootings reignited America’s conversation about gun control — than they have in any month so far this year.

About 4.7 million Americans initiated gun background checks last month — a 36% increase from February, according to the FBI. More than 2 million of those checks were for new gun purchases, according to the National Shooting Sports Federation, the firearms industry trade group that compares FBI background check numbers with actual sales data to determine its sales figures.

The new guns purchased in March make it the second highest month on record for firearms sales,according to NSSF spokesman Mark Oliva, who said the threat of looming gun control legislation was the catalyst for last months sales surge.

NSSF data shows last month’s sales were surpassed only by the estimated 2.3 million guns sold in March 2020, when the spread of Covid-19 have caused Americans to horde guns and bullets in addition to toilet paper and hand sanitizer.

“It is clear that firearm sales in March were driven by gun control calls from politicians to ban entire classes of firearms and enact onerous gun laws,” Oliva told CNN Business via email Thursday afternoon.

Oliva is, of course, absolutely correct.

Now, Cam talked about the surge yesterday, but I want to focus on what Oliva said.

See, when people can get something or do something at any time, they may delay doing that thing. After all, it’s always going to be there and they prioritize other things. It’s like my folks living in Brooklyn when my dad was in the Navy, but never going to see the Statue of Liberty. It was always there, so they could do it later. Only when Dad’s orders came in, there wasn’t time to rush and get it done.

With guns, though, that’s a little different.  Gun control laws don’t come down as quickly as orders can for a sailor during the Vietnam era. We can see them coming from a ways off. Even the hint of gun control will spark a buying frenzy.

This happened during the Obama administration when he didn’t have the support in Congress to actually pass gun control, so you’d better believe it’s going to happen with Biden and this Congress in power.

Even if the Democrats can’t get gun control passed, the threat is greater now than it has been in almost 30 years, which is terrifying.

Roll in a couple of mass shootings that are sparking calls for gun control and what do you expect?

What it means, though, is that if they’re going to try to take AR-style weapons out of the hands of the law-abiding citizens of this country, they’re going to have an even harder time doing it now.