Gun sales in America, already heading for a record year, have increased in the wake of President Obama’s Friday call to restrict gun ownership.
Obama’s most recent attack on firearms came in the wake of last week’s shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon in which a gunman killed nine victims.
“After these shootings and then the calls for tougher gun laws, we see a buying rush,” said Larry Hyatt, owner of Hyatt Guns in North Carolina.
“Once the public hears the president on the news say we need more gun controls, it tends to drive sales. People think, if I don’t get a gun now, it might be difficult to get one in the future. The store is crowded,” Hyatt said.
The two incidents drive demand to buy weapons and to learn how to use them safely, said Michael Cargill of Central Texas Gun Works.
“It’s an increase in classes, it’s an increase in gun sales, it’s an increase in transfers. So our NICS background checks goes through the roof,” said Cargill.
Demand is spurred by fears of new regulations and the realization that people feel vulnerable, said Cargill. Mass shootings remind Americans that tragic events can happen in any community, spurring those who have considered gun ownership to move ahead.
“A lot of it is people saying, ‘I didn’t think I needed a gun, but now I do. When it happens in your backyard, people start reassessing,” said Jake Meyers of Rocky Mountain Guns in Colorado.
Recent rushes on gun stores come at a time when gun sales are already high.
In the first nine months of this year, 15.6 million background checks needed to purchase guns from federally licensed sellers have been processed, compared with 15.5 million applications in the same period in 2013, according to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
The 2013 increase was driven by calls for gun control after the December 2012 shooting of elementary schoolchildren in Newtown, Conn.
“January and February (2013) everything ran out of stock. We had a hard time getting any type of firearm, any type of ammunition whatsoever,” said Cargill.
h/t: Bearing Arms
BCN editor’s note: This article first appeared at Western Journalism.