In Wake of Newtown Shootings, Gun Sales Are Skyrocketing
The nation’s gun dealers are reporting record business in the wake of the latest school shooting and increased calls for gun control:
Rainier Arms, a gun dealer in Auburn, Wash., receives great Yelp reviews for its responsiveness. But a call to the dealer on Friday led to a full voice mail box, and an e-mail to its sales team drew this automatic response: “Thank you for contacting Rainier Arms for your AR-15 needs. Due to an overwhelming response to the latest political climate, we are experiencing longer-than-normal response times.”
At Bud’s Gun Shop in Maryland, a message on the Web site said that customer service was “completely overwhelmed” and it discouraged customers from calling or e-mailing.
And on GunBroker.com, an Oracle .223 that normally retails for around $650 had been bid up to $1,175 with three days left in the auction.
With gun-control legislation getting more serious discussion than it has in years, gun sales are spiking as enthusiasts stock up in advance of possible restrictions.
Gun sales have been increasing over the past five years, with marked increases around the 2008 and 2012 elections, and after mass shootings like the one in Aurora, Colo., and now in Newtown, Conn.
“The largest factor by far is fears over a potential change in gun laws — that’s what’s driving most guns enthusiasts or even first-time buyers to go buy a gun,” said Nima Samadi, senior guns and ammunition analyst for the research firm IBISWorld.
There is increasing demands for guns in the United States. Last year, the Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted 16.45 million background checks for firearm sales through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, a 14 percent jump from the previous year. In the first 11 months of this year, the bureau conducted 16.8 million background checks, a record since the system’s founding in 1998.
Since the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, though, a few companies associated with gun sales have backed away. Cerberus Capital Management put the company that makes the Bushmaster, a gun used in the shootings, up for sale on Tuesday, saying, “The Sandy Hook tragedy was a watershed event that has raised the national debate on gun control to an unprecedented level.”
Dick’s Sporting Goods temporarily ceased selling all guns in its location closest to Newtown, and has also put a hold on sales of so-called modern sporting rifles, which include semiautomatic guns, nationwide.
And Deseret Digital Media, which owns KSL.com, a Web site that has been criticized by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg for allowing unregulated gun sales, said it was suspending classified advertisements for guns.
Elsewhere, though, consumers are hurrying to buy guns, leading to some models being out of stock, warnings of shipping and customer-service delays, and significant premiums on assault rifles.
“We are seeing a total madhouse of buying everything in sight,” said Bob Irwin, owner of the Gun Store, a Las Vegas shooting range and retailer. Thursday, he said, was the largest sales day in the history of the store, which has been open for 30 years. “We have not only a run on the guns, but a run on ammunition.”
Mr. Irwin has begun limiting how much of some types of ammunition customers can buy, and he has canceled employees’ days off to handle the demand.
Walmart, the largest retailer of guns and ammunition in the United States, indicated that several semiautomatic guns were out of stock at locations across the country. Kory Lundberg, a spokesman, said the company was not sold out of guns altogether, but had low inventory in some situations. Walmart carries guns in about half its stores, and about one-third carry so-called modern sporting rifles, the category including the Bushmaster and other AR-15 weapons.
Other retailers around the country were selling out of guns and accessories.
We’ve seen this after other, similar, incidents, most recently the movie theater shootings in Aurora. To a large extent, this buying boom seems to be motivated in no small part by the talk of increased regulation of gun ownership in the future, with people obviously concluding they should buy what they want know before they can’t do it anymore. More than that, though, I think this is a reflection of the fact that Americans like guns. In some cases, they own them because they enjoy target shooting, at either competitive or non-competitive level. In other cases it’s because they enjoy hunting. In many cases, they own weapons for self-defense. There are millions of Americans who own weapons of one kind or another, and the vast majority of them are peaceful law abiding people. Depriving them of their 2nd Amendment rights based on the actions of a few lunatics makes no sense to me.
Photo via New York Times
That would depend on what one perceives as the scope of the 2nd Amendment, or more to the point, what the courts interpret. I don’t see some aspects of gun control as necessarily infringing on the Constitution. In fact I think one can place numerous restrictions related to gun registration, gun design, ammo restrictions and how & when one can carry a gun, none of which would necessarily be unconstitutional. In fact it would be ‘conservative’ position, in the sense that it would go back to earlier levels of regulations in many states.
The problem isn’t ‘liking guns’, as much as it is fetishizing weapons and thinking one needs t to stockpile a massive armory for ‘self-defense’. Collecting has also become a hobby for poseurs and nerds. At least the Trekkies who collect action figures aren’t likely to get someone killed if someone breaks into their collection.
The guns people are buying in this rush are of the “tactical” variety. That is where civilians practice to “be SWAT.” Nancy Lanza bought tactical arms because she was a survivalist, preparing for the end of civilization.
Explain why that is a useful or positive trend in American culture.
Explain why a tactical aficionado gets to say “well, I really hunt, and so my suite of near-military technology should be judged in that light, and not because I really, really, wanted an evil black rifle.”
I own 3 bicycles, costing a total of $5,000. I have them because they are all different, and suited to different things. I could see why, if I had opportunity to plink and hunt, I might want a low cost .22 for plinking, and a shotgun for birds, and a rifle for elk. As long as I kept them in a safe, they’d be doing no more harm than one.
That said, my mind really rebels at the thought of being a quasi-survivalist, manning the ramparts against an angry world. Even if “tactical” is fun, so is trap and skeet. And those do not reinforce paramilitary values.
I know the borders are blurry but I sense an increase toward nuthood in terms of collecting that I didn’t see when I was young. I also see more people worried about the black helicopters and other conspiracies than before. It’s not so much that there are any more loonies than before, just that they’re less isolated now, getting stirred up more and there are a lot more idiots who think that having more people carrying guns would increase safety.
Which is to say, I’m OK with people buying as many skeet shooting guns as they want, or as many plinking gun as they want. Buy that’s not where the best collectors are necessarily going. ‘Tactical’ and faux military is the rage, with as much capacity possible. That’s where the loons, the manhood compensators, and fetishizers shop.
well it is Christmas shopping time, gun sales seem to rise then and when a democrat is elected to the white house – despite obamas 0.0 action pertaining to gun regulation.
Actually, he’s the one who eased restrictions on carrying on federal lands.
Well, if you are preparing for the end of civilization it only makes sense to obtain weapons that use the same ammunition as what is likely to be in the largest abandoned stocks, i.e., military arsenals.
And just so you can get your freak out on, if you are in a rebellion it makes sense to have weapons that can use captured ammunition stocks given the fact partisans are not able to run factories making unique arms.
Well, your EBR also comes in pink Which as we can see sometimes clashes with the outfit but is clashing really a negative for a firearm?
Well, your mind can rebel all it wants. My mind rebels at the thought of living the rabbet warrens of dense urban housing. So I don’t live there.
Speaking of which, the NRA was born to overcome the complete lack of useful skills in shooting evident in urban dwellers during WWI. After the war, the NRA was formed to promote shooting as sport so that city dwellers might be able to contribute to the national defense in ways other than starving refugees.
Exactly. Survivalists (re-branded as preppers) are getting their freak on. It is another case where marketing to the unstable creates a viable business model.
I don’t understand why anybody would need more than four guns. A handgun, shotgun, .22, and a hunting rifle. That’s it.
The fact that gun owners need to buy tons of guns makes me think that the gun market is composed of people who are in it to buy new guns, shoot at targets with them a few months, and then buy another gun when they get bored. You can find the same examples in any kind of niche market. Designer handbags shoes, road bikes…
What does “need” have to do with it? And who cares if you understand?
@john personna: i know, i get a thumbs down when I remind people of that!
People are just being as nutty as they can be.
It has to do with the discussion of the limits of the right. The right to freedom of speech in the first amendment has limitations – there are lots of things you’re not _allowed_ to say, even if you’re _able_ to say them… try putting up a billboard that says “John Doe is a murderer” and see how far a first amendment defense gets you. You have a right to vote, but in most places, if you’re convicted of a felony, you can have that right taken away. Ditto, I would point out, for the right to own a gun. The point I’m trying to get across is that all rights have _limitations_. And while you may have a right to do X, in a broad sense, the state has the authority to circumscribe X in a way that keeps the rest of society from being damaged by your exercise of your right to X.
In any rational discussion about firearm rights, the “need” for such things as high-capacity mags, armor-piercing rounds, fully-automatic weapons, etc, etc is one important aspect. If you’re going to summarily disregard such basic concepts, then you’re not actually interested in even _having_ a discussion about the topic, and you should stop pretending to be rational.
… the gun market is composed of people who are in it to buy new guns, shoot at targets with them a few months, and then buy another gun when they get bored.
I know a few people who are exactly like that with golf clubs. I wonder whether the basic psychology is the same.
I’ll probably be one of them here in the next few weeks. I was already planning on buying a new gun sometime next year. I’ve owned a .22 rifle for years and years now since my dad bought it for me and taught me to shoot and always wanted to add to it a shotgun and a handgun. I was going to buy the shotgun first and the handgun later but I’ll probably get the handgun now since a standard full size semi-auto handgun has 13-17 rounds in a magazine. You can put me firmly in the buy what I want now while I still can dept.
I’ve found this whole debate very disappointing. It seems like in the current environment if you don’t favor banning guns you aren’t serious or don’t understand. Yes we have a lot of firearms homicides in this country. What is it, 12,000 per year (not counting suicides)? But if you compare that to the number of guns out there it works out to be 1 homicide per 22,500 guns. So is the solution really to curtail the rights of 100% of gun owners because 1/200th of 1 percent of guns are used in a murder?
How about instead of regulating the guns we regulate people’s behavior? Kind of like how in Germany they regulate how you drive more then how fast you drive. How about ending the private sale loophole? How about extending criminal and mental health checks when you buy a gun to the rest of the household who would also have access to it? How about registering guns in a database so that if after purchase someone in the home is deemed a danger to themselves or others we can make sure either the guns are removed from the home or at least kept securely? Another benefit to a registration database would be to hold owners responsible for the use of their weapons. Just because you have a right to bear arms doesn’t mean you don’t also have a responsibility to ensure it’s safe storage and lawful use. To me all these things would address the actual problems with guns in our society while still preserving lawful people’s rights.
@JKB: to be honest mandating that all “assault” guns must be in pink would probably do a great deal of good. I don’t see how that’s a 2nd amendment violation.
Well, let’s see, “armor piercing” ammo is restricted, well, except for .22 ammo which can but not reliably penetrate police armor. so are fully-automatic as well as burst firing weapons. High cap magazines are not restricted because they present no real issue except in the minds of the unknowledgeable and are trivial to fabricate with simple tools.
Define “assault” gun.
The vast majority of use for all firearms, not just AR-15s and such is in target shooting and self defense. Some are used for hunting. No assaulting involved. Some police units use AR-15s but still that firearm is carried for self defense.
The military use the M-16 or M-1 which are select fire weapons. It is only the government and criminals that carry firearms to willfully kill humans that are not an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury.
I assume most gun collectors are sexually impotent. I can’t think of another explanation.
Oh and to answer constant demands for why large capacity magazines…..cute girls demand it.
Oh and before you say something stupid, watch this. Mom rocks a mean Mossberg
no boy you got that backward nerds are the ones that don’t have guns and probably don’t know how to load one about like YOU , BUT I BET THAT YOU COLLECT BARBIE DOLLS DON’T YOU MISS PRISS
I SAY ARGON RUNS HIS CUM CATCHER TOO MUCH AND WORRIES ABOUT WHAT OTHER PEOPLE ARE DOING JUST WORRY ABOUT YOURSELF
YOU LOOK LIKE A GOOBER GOBBLER I SEEN AT A TRUCK STOP WAS THAT U
THEY SAY 3000,000 AR-15’s HAVE ALREADY SOLD SINCE LAST SATURDAY SO HOW DO YOU ANTI GUN LIBERALS LIKE THAT AND THE DELIVERY TRUCKS ARE STILL COMING
WAL MARTS DOWN SOUTH SOLD ENOUGH AR-15’s TO EQUIP THE CHINESE ARMY THIS WEEK AND ALL AMMO SOLD OUT READ IT AND WEEP BLOOMBERG AND ALL YOU LIBERAL PANSIES
Lynn must be one of those ‘caps lock Conservatives’.
For years and years (60 years?) the M1911 was the standard military sidearm, and the one that many wanted in the civilian market. A good competition circuit built up around it. It carried a 7 round magazine.
For 60 years, 7 rounds was enough.
It was kind of funny/sad that as soon as the military adopted the Beretta 92, suddenly civilian love shifted, and suddenly for civilians 7 rounds was not enough.
Wouldn’t it really be better if the civilians kept themselves down 6-7 as a reasonable number?
You know, I don’t seek out “cops” type shows. I watch Alaskan Troopers for the wildlife scenes, and have to sit through the crime cases.
The pattern in that “most gun owning state” is not that a home owner has to defend themselves from an outsider. It is always that they have invited an unstable person in. Either that unstable person (invited across the threshold like a vampire) brings guns, or they are already around the house, making for a bad situation. Add drugs, alcohol, etc.
Home defense with quasi-military weapons is all based on bizarre and unrealistic scenarios. Unless you are a drug lord, no one is going to send another paramilitary team against you. If you have a light to moderate drinking family, no guns, no drugs, you are probably never going to have a “guns drawn” visit from the police in your life.
(lynn sullivan is coming across as the kind of person you never, really, want to invite across the threshold.)
You really do lack critical thinking skills, don’t you?
Now why do you think that a show filming police in their normal duties wouldn’t show many stranger break-in crimes? Could it be because by the time the police arrive the criminal has left, killed or maimed the occupants or has been rendered no longer threatening? So how many, criminal investigations does a show like that show from beginning to end? Here’s a tip, you don’t let film crews traipse around a crime scene. It’s called contamination of evidence.
But go ahead and avoid giving any thought to your brilliant observations.
Police operate in the same environment as non-law enforcement, i.e., both are civilians. Police carry firearms for the same reason as non-law enforcement, i.e., self defense. So who don’t police keep themselves to 6 or 7 rounds and perhaps even stick with revolvers?
BTW, 99% of the military carry handguns for the same reason as police and non-law enforcement, i.e, self defense.
You should see a doctor about that. Seriously.
The idea that civilians operate in the same risk environment as police is literally insane.
(And that show would certainly have the 911 calls, and follow-up, on a home intrusion. Absolutely.)
There is no inevitable conflict between Americans exercising the Second Amendment rights and having a rational gun safety scheme , just as there is no inevitable conflict between having a First Amendment and having laws against defamation or treason.
Until about 30 years ago, semi-automatic weapons were not widely available to the public. Despite that, Americans were hunting and target shooting and enjoying their Second Amendment rights just fine, without kindergarten massacres.
But hey, inventing false dichotomies is fine.
That should be,
Inventing false dichotomies is fun. Dammit, no edit function. Time for Firefox.
Dillinger’s guns (1933) show a lot of semi-automatic pistols, rifles, and shotguns. Of the bunch, only the Thompson sub-machine gun was severely regulated.
I certainly think we can set the bar where we like though.
So you are saying that our police don’t live and work in the same cities and suburban communities where non-law enforcement live and work. Surely, you can see that premise is nonsensical.
Yes, police, by the authorities provided them in their job, do interfere and involve themselves in the business of others when they have a reasonable suspicion such activity is against an enforceable law. Such involvement does cause police to risk attack and thus have a need for self defense capability. On the other hand, non-law enforcement citizens in the community learn of these activities by happenstance or by being victimized and are thus at risk of attack and thus have a need for self defense capability.
As best I can tell your position is that non-law enforcement citizens should actively avoid learning of criminal activity and not report such activity and therefore they have not need for self defense capability? That non-law enforcement citizens must live, work, raise families in environments with others who will rob, murder, rape, extort, etc, them even though they avoid involving themselves in the business of others is not a reason to have a self defense capability?
So police need firearms for self defense because we ask them to rush to the scene where violence is occurring but those who are arbitrarily chosen by violent offenders to be victims at that scene should not have access to firearms for self defense? No tell me about insane thinking?
Let’s see, you have a right to keep and bear arms –
you do not have the right to use those arms against anyone except in justifiable self defense or defense of others (punishable under criminal statutes in all 50 states)
you do not have a right to brandish said weapons with intent to threaten or frighten others (punishable under criminal statutes in all 50 states)
you do not have a right to even the recently much used on the Left first amendment defense to threaten or call for someone to be shot, killed or their head upon a pike, if you have a firearm on your person while proximate to them (punishable under criminal statutes in all 50 states)
But given you are mixing “safety” regulations here, then we need to look at rational speech safety scheme. So you would support prohibiting the call for the murder of individuals you disagree with or the texting of the address of someone of say like George Zimmerman when it is reasonable that such information will be used by other to harass, intimidate and possibly attack? And we really should look at the link between news reporting of mass killings and others that occur shortly after? For safety…
I have some high powered water soaker guns around here somewhere. How much do you think that I can get for them ?
You have paranoid delusions.
As it happens, home defense folks want someone to run away. They have a defensive position. They don’t need to chase them through the dark, nor enter their lair, where they and their cohorts have barricaded themselves.
Finally, some military who do take active assault roles do still use M1911 derived guns, with 7 round magazines:
Do you are a delusional paranoid who thinks he needs to be better armed than Marines for “Close Quarters Battle” in order to be safe.
Actually, I carried an M1911 for years and then the Army took it away and gave me that d-snip Beretta. I hated it then and I still hate it now even tho it’s been a lot of years since I even held one. I think that Beretta’s shotguns are the best mass-market shotguns in the world, but their pistols just plain suck.
Yes, the police pursue criminals, they use team techniques, carry offensive weapons for pain compliance, etc. But when it comes down to it, they do not discharge their firearms except to stop an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury. Otherwise, they get prosecuted for involuntary homicide or manslaughter.
So your opinion is because the police can demand compliance and enter “lairs” that they have a greater right to survive an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury than another citizen who simply goes about their business and wishes to be secure in their homes?
I’m curious, this special privilege to self defense you define for the police. I assume you feel it applies to dear leader but what about the ruling council? High party officials? Favored entertainers and sports figures? How about large industrialists who partner with high party officials?
But I assume it doesn’t apply to party rank and file, especially those who live in the poorer neighborhoods. And it goes without saying that dissidents wouldn’t be afforded the right or capability to stop such threats.
And yet despite these concessions to the the gun worshipers’ dream of the unfettered right to buy and carry any gun, anywhere, any time, we still had 20 children and 6 kindergarten teachers slaughtered by a guy who was trained to use and shoot guns, like any good ol’ NRA boy should .
I guess you, like Doug, thinks its OK for the tree of liberty to be watered by the blood of children and Kindergarten teachers. How brave of you.
We should be talking here not of gun owners rights, but gun owner’s responsibilities, and limiting gun ownership only to those who have shown they can be responsible. A prospective gun owner would be identified as responsible only if they passed a background check, underwent gun safety training and had three people vouch that they could be responsible gun owners.
Another option may also be to require the parents or caretakers of the mentally ill to:
1. Disclose to the authorities their caretaker status
2. Store their weapons outside the home.
Now you and the NRA would object that this infringes on your right of self defense, but that didn’t work so well for Ms. De Lanza.
For all the highfalutin’ theoretical discussion of ” rights” by the gun worshipers, they seem oddly slow to react to the actual “real world” results of their “all guns, all the time” approach. Whatever happens in the real world,the response is the same : “MOAR GUNZ”.
You’re getting hung up on this “1911 only carries 7 rounds in the mag so why does anyone need more than 7 rounds” thing. The Browning Hi-Power was developed in the 1930s and has been used by over 60 armies worldwide since, including the British, Canadian, and Nazi Germany militaries during WWII (and is still used by the British and Canadian militaries today, although it is finally being replaced.) It has a 13 round capacity. Why would the British and Canadian militaries want a gun with 13 rounds in the mag, I thought 7 was more than anyone could ever possibly need, ever? I guess the entire British and Canadian armies (as well as the over 60 other militaries worldwide) are full of “delusional paranoids,” as you put it.
The Wondernines that were developed in the ’70s like the Beretta 92, S&W Model 59, CZ-75, and Glock 17 (the Hi-Power was arguably the first Wondernine, although it was SAO vs DA/SA) that had double stack magazines were adopted en masse by police forces to replace their revolvers (albeit generally not until the ’80s and early ’90s) because they were such a leap forward in available capacity. The reason civilians (hate using that term when talking about police vs everyone else but it’s the only shorthand I can think of for it) started using those same firearms wasn’t because “oh, the military has the Beretta I have to be joe tacticool and imitate everything they do,” it was for the exact same reasons that law enforcement started using the Wondernines with doublestack mags.
Copying+pasting stuff from wikipedia about the Marines fetish with the M1911 (because seriously, that’s what it is…there’s zero reason they shouldn’t have adopted something else with a higher capacity; even if they wanted SAO there are guns with a higher capacity capable of being carried cocked and locked) doesn’t make you a firearms expert, there are solid reasons why people would want to have a firearm with more than 7 rounds in the chamber.
And that’s not even getting into long guns.
Should be “7 rounds in the mag,” whoops.
What I was observing was that US sporters, and home protection types, were fine with 6-7 for years and years. OK fine, there were other options. That may be true but my gun owning friends had lots of guns, but mostly small capacity or revolver.
And surely you aren’t falling into JKB’s trap that civilians should have the same criteria as the military of their time?
We’ve had arms races, post North Hollywood shootout. Many police forces had to increase their shooting power because bank robbers could “shop and go” tactical.
Now, your real militia fringe will think that civilians should outgun police, but they are a fringe.
Doug…..another one of those very rare mass shootings……firefighters this time……two dead, tow wounded……Obviously we now need armed guards at all fire stations and when firemen are out on call.s
“I think this is a reflection of the fact that Americans like guns…” sorry doug old man, this reflects the sick psychotic behavior or the gun freaks who are buying more guns, not new gun buyers rushing to join the stupid.”
It is clear a small, paranoid gun freak minority (see JKB, Matt etc) who think they are Jews in Nazi Germany about to be harvested into freight cars or who think the Fathers believed Uzi’s are protected from regulation are the folks buying these guns because of their insane conflating of banning high capacity magazines with Storm Troopers bursting into their homes in the dead of night and asking where the guns are located.
Together with the perfect storm of right wing hate-spewing media, a Kenyan President, a near hysterical NRA and a shifting of the racial demographic, these gun loving perverts are doubling down on the crazy.
P.S. I think it should be a public law that one can bust the jaw of a gun freak who asks one more time “whats an assault rifle?” with the butt end of an assault rifle.