This past week, mass shootings in both Atlanta and Boulder killed 18 people. Now, lawmakers are asking for stricter gun regulation throughout the country. To the gun industry, this means a major influx of sales.
Rob Southwick, Southwick Associates market research company founder, said “When you hear more calls for firearm restrictions, we have observed gun sale increases primarily from people buying before they’re not able to.”
Industry experts, however, also note that it is far too soon to determine how these back-to-back mass shootings will have an impact on firearm sales. We can’t expect to get any solid figures from federal background checks until April. Of course, if history has taught Americans anything, it is that gun manufacturers and distributors should expect a spike in their demand.
Joe Biden and The Gun Control Legislation
This past Tuesday, Joe Biden took gun-control legislation to Congress, of which the Democrats had originally introduced earlier in March. “I don’t need to wait another minute, let alone an hour, to take common-sense steps that will save lives in the future,” said Biden.
Some of the areas that he hopes to see Congress act include a stronger background check system with closed loopholes and a complete ban on assault weapons. Regardless of the party that is in power, the pattern of increased gun sales post mass shooting has held true. Gun owners fear future restrictions on gun ownership, so they begin to stock up as soon as possible.
Gun Surges In The Past
In the few weeks after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting back in 2013, which left 27 people dead, most of which were children, gun sales spiked. Federal gun control measures made it to the Senate thanks to President Barrack Obama and Democrats in Congress, though the bill ultimately stalled.
After the Las Vegas shootings in October 2017, which claimed the lives of 58 people, gun dealers saw a rise in the demand for bump stocks, which were used in that same shooting. Bump stocks, gun attachments that allow shooters to fire multiple rounds through a semiautomatic rifle with one trigger pull, went under fire.
Even President Donald Trump vowed that he would outlaw bump stocks. The Justice Department followed with a ban on bump stocks in the United States, even with plenty of objections from the gun lobbies.
According to Bloomberg, gun sales rose by 12.6% the year following the February 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Massacre in Florida.
David Kopel, an adjunct scholar of the libertarian Cato Institute, said “It’s a longstanding pattern.”
Before it proposes solutions, the firearms industry wants to know more about the results of the mass shooting in Boulder, according to Mark Oliva, a spokesman for the National Shooting Sports Foundation.
Oliva notes that gun dealers and manufacturers have worked closely with the government on several gun prevention measures. According to Oliva, the NSSF convinced lawmakers in 16 states to introduce measures that would stop firearms from getting into the wrong hands. These 16 states now look at mental health records when deciding whether or not a customer qualifies for purchasing firearms.
Gun control advocates, however, say that mental illness is not one of the leading factors for gun violence.