While all of the first-time buyers who spoke to the Free Beacon cited safety concerns stemming from the pandemic as their top reason for buying a gun, some said the politics of the moment played a significant role in their decision. But they held differing and even opposing viewpoints on which politicians concerned them the most—suggesting the group of new owners represents a fairly diverse political spectrum.

Aaron Eaton, a former Army MP and current sewer company technician in Alabama, said the increasingly hostile stance many in the Democratic Party have taken toward gun ownership helped push him to make his first purchase.

“I figured now’s the time to buy before, God help us, a Democrat becomes president again,” he said. “Then I would probably never get that chance again. The only view that has changed, and solely because I got into politics because of Donald Trump, is [what I think of] the stance Democrats have regarding guns. I do not find it funny how Democrats are trying to interpret the Second Amendment.”