Despite the efforts of some Democrat mayors and governors to ban gun sales as “non-essential” businesses, the sales of firearms have reached record numbers.
It has been revealed that an estimated 2.3 million guns were sold nationwide in March.
Early indicators suggest that the trend will continue in April.
The new numbers come on the heels of criminals being released from jails prisons amid fears of COVID-19 outbreaks among inmates.
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As some Democratic leaders banned the sales of firearms, some constituents complained that they were being “punished” while criminals were set free.
More details on this developing story below:
Many of these buyers are first-time gun owners.
The Free Beacon interviewed first time gun purchasers on their decision to buy a gun now:
Aaron Eaton learned how to shoot in the Army back in 2006 but holstered a pistol for the last time when he left in 2009 and took a job as a technician for a sewer company. That all changed on March 26 when the father of four walked out of an Alabama gun store with a Beretta 92FS, the same gun he handled as a military policeman at the height of the Iraq war.
"Simply put: I wanted peace of mind when it comes to the safety of my family," Eaton said.
Eaton's pistol was one of 2.3 million firearms to fly off the shelves in March, the single busiest month for gun sales ever. The Washington Free Beacon spoke to half a dozen new gun owners who purchased a total of six handguns and two shotguns. All of the new gun owners provided proof of purchase, though some asked not to have their last names published because of potential career backlash.
"To me, it's all about protecting my family, and if a gun makes that easier, so be it," Scott, a California tech worker with a wife and daughter, said.
Many of the new gun owners cited concerns about personal protection as states began emptying jail cells and police departments announced they would no longer enforce certain laws. Jake Wilhelm, a Virginia-based environmental consultant and lacrosse coach, purchased a Sig Sauer P226 after seeing Italy enact a nationwide lockdown on March 9.
Dayton Daily News also reports that people are worried over growing government power and financial uncertainty:
Another major source of concern is that government will crack down during this crisis and infringe on people’s rights, he said.
Miami Armory continues to see elevated foot traffic. In a six-day work week, there might be two normal days and four with high levels of sales, Becker said.
“I see the panic buying continuing, but it will simmer down a little bit if Gov. DeWine can open up the state or give us a hope date about when we can all go back to work,” he said.
However, Becker said, even if that happens, the upcoming election also may buoy gun sales, because the possibility of a Democratic president and Congress may raise concerns about potential new gun restrictions.
Ohio's gun sales in March are the 2nd highest on record.
The highest month for sales happened after Barack Obama's reelection and the highly publicized Sandy Hook shooting.
Yet, despite record gun sales across the nation, there has been no reported case of a mass shooting in the United States throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Most people interviewed said that they were buying a gun strictly to protect themselves and their families.
While the media publicized the panic buying over toilet paper and hand sanitizer, it turns out people also wanted to purchase guns to ensure their safety.
The New York Times confirms the record number of gun sales:
Americans bought about two million guns in March, according to a New York Times analysis of federal data. It was the second-busiest month ever for gun sales, trailing only January 2013, just after President Barack Obama’s re-election and the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
With some people fearful that the pandemic could lead to civil unrest, gun sales have been skyrocketing. In the past, fear of gun-buying restrictions has been the main driver of spikes in gun sales, far surpassing the effects of mass shootings and terrorist attacks alone.
Sales rose sharply in December 2015 after Mr. Obama sought to make it harder to buy assault weapons after the terrorist attack in San Bernardino, Calif. And in January 2013, the heaviest sales came after a call for new restrictions in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting.
But last month was different. As they prepare for an uncertain future, Americans have been crowding grocery stores to stock up on household essentials like canned beans and toilet paper. A similar worry appears to be driving gun sales.
“People are nervous that there’s a certain amount of civil disorder that might come if huge numbers of people are sick and a huge number of institutions are not operating normally,” said Timothy Lytton, a law professor at Georgia State University and an expert on the gun industry. “They may have an anxiety about protecting themselves if the organs of state are starting to erode.”
Americans continue to practice their Second Amendment right to ensure their own safety during this crisis.
Owning and knowing how and when to use firearms is paramount.
The vast majority of legal gun owners never pose a danger to anyone else.
Rather, it is the criminals who use weapons as an instrument to cause harm to other people.
If anything, the COVID-19 pandemic is exposing which leaders are willing to protect Constitutional rights and which ones appear happy to take them away.