One of the running themes of the Obama Presidency that conservatives frequently had fun with was the fact that gun sales in the United States remained brisk throughout his entire time in office. Citizens worried about new gun bans and gun control laws would find the time (and money) to make more firearm purchases before the government pushed its thumb further down on the scale against them. Now the man who was Obama’s second fiddle is in the big chair and he always kept an item on his campaign site indicating that he was ready to “take action” on guns. (Though it almost never mentioned in his speeches last year.) Is this going to drive gun sales even higher? That’s the take from Jeff Charles at RedState. Joe Biden just might be named Employee of the Month by the firearms industry.
The Hill reported that “gun sales are on the rise across the U.S. with some experts predicting that gun reform policies championed by the Biden administration as well as the continuing uncertainty around the pandemic will keep gun sales high in 2021.”
Last year, a record number of background checks were performed, according to the FBI. Over 39.6 million were performed for firearms in 2020. (See: 2020 Has Seen the Largest Surge of Gun Ownership In History)
The drastic increase was attributed to fears related to the coronavirus outbreak and civil unrest that took place over the summer. However, in 2021, other concerns seem to be spurring the heightened gun sales.
One question that persists is just how much higher gun sales can possibly go. The demand in 2020 was through the roof long before anyone knew what the outcome of the election would be. That sustained surge was primarily driven by fears people experienced of the riots and unrest in the streets. Things aren’t improving all that much, so sales are still quite brisk in the early days of 2021.
But consider the fact that those sales last year were taking place while Donald Trump was in office and Mitch McConnell was in charge of the Senate. Trump was arguably the most pro-Second Amendment president many people have witnessed in their lifetimes. And with Cocaine Mitch controlling the ebb and flow of new legislation in the Senate, there was no chance that any crushing new gun control laws would make their way into the books.
Now we’re still experiencing unrest, particularly in the cities, so those same concerns will be driving people to find ways to protect themselves and their families. But the urgency they feel will be compounded by the fact that we’ve returned to a situation where the Democrats narrowly control both chambers of Congress and there is a man in the Oval Office who endorsed a ban on “assault weapons” and high capacity magazines back in 2019. Who knows what other measures he might support if given the opportunity?
So, will that produce the predicted effect? RedState quotes Philip Van Cleave of the Virginia Citizens Defense League who points out what should be obvious.
“If suddenly they said well you’re not going to be able to buy any more cereal, everybody would run out and clean out all the cereal out of all the stores, [and] get theirs before it disappeared. Same thing with guns, every time they threatened to take them away people decide it’s time to buy one, and those that have one decide maybe to buy another one.”
This isn’t some sort of hypothetical situation being discussed. We’ve seen this movie before and it’s played out the same way. As soon as the Democrats start trying to gin up support for new firearm restrictions, sales spike. But now we’re living in a different environment.
I would just remind everyone that all through the riots and unrest of last year in the spring and summer leading up to the election we heard crickets on this subject. You rarely if ever heard Joe Biden (or most of the rest of the Democrats, for that matter) talking about new gun control laws. They knew how high the demand was and that such talk would be quite unpopular. But now, with the election safely behind them, they’ll probably come out swinging. Perhaps this is a good time to remind them what happened in the 2010 midterms. Their surge to the left wound up costing them their majorities in Congress. Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.