Washington state mag ban driving up gun sales

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

When a state decides it’s going to cap the number of rounds you can have in a magazine, you expect magazine sales to go up, just as they have in Washington state. You expect it.

But what about gun sales themselves?

After all, magazines are inexpensive when compared to firearms. Yet it seems they’re selling like crazy, too.

Washington Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee signed three new gun control laws March 23, causing a massive increase in gun sales, according to a local report.

One of the new laws will ban the manufacturing, distribution, and sale of magazines that hold more than 10 rounds in an attempt to stop gun violence and decrease gun sales, Komo News reported Thursday. But an interview conducted by the outlet seems to suggest that it has only increased firearm purchases.

“Sales have been phenomenal,” said co-owner of Rehv Arms Jody Lewis. “From a magazine increase, we’ve seen a 100 percent increase here. We can’t keep them in stock. We order them by the case and they’re gone, literally after a day or two after getting them,” according to Komo News.

Not only have people been stocking up on magazines, but they have also been stocking up on firearms.

“I got two 30-round magazines for an AR,” said Trent Nicols, a customer at Rehv Arms, according to Komo News. “I bought an AR-15 today and took one home.”

Of course, that’s only one example, but The Daily Caller also notes that background checks for gun sales also increased in the state, from 52,914 in January to 63,908 last month.

And really, it stands to reason.

Retail stores have long offered deals on a given product in hopes of getting people into the door and hopefully sell them other, more expensive items. Since people looking to get magazines are gun people already, it shouldn’t be surprising to see them stop in to buy more soon-to-be-banned magazines but walk out with a new AR-15 or some other firearm.

But it seems that if your goal is to somehow restrict guns and magazines, this isn’t exactly working out as planned.

Yet should there be any drop in crime in Washington state, we need to remember these increased gun sales, because that’s likely to be the culprit and not restricting how many rounds law-abiding citizens can have in their firearms.

More guns generally correlate to less crime, after all, and it’s entirely possible that any “success” Washington state sees will be because of increased gun sales and not the gun control law itself.

And why would the law accomplish anything? It’s a cap on magazine capacity. Even if it impacted criminals–it won’t, but for the sake of argument, let’s pretend it will–criminals will kill people with just a few rounds. It’s not going to actually do a whole lot.

Hell, even mass shooters can kill plenty with 10-round magazines, as we saw in Parkland.

But an armed populace? Oh, that makes a huge difference and that’s what Washington state is getting right about now.