The Left’s push against the Second Amendment is having the opposite effect, as more Americans are signing up for training to carry concealed weapons and gun sales in general are on the rise. There has been a significant surge in sales following the Parkland school shooting in Florida, despite the Left’s and media’s calls for more gun control, the Washington Times reports.
The National Carry Academy in Minnesota states that there has been a 200-percent increase in its concealed-carry courses since the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. What’s more, it is the largest increase they’ve seen since the 2012 school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.
The Washington Examiner reports that background checks in March were the fourth-highest in the history of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).
Even New Jersey, a fiercely blue state, has witnessed an increase in gun sales. In fact, sales have been steadily rising there following the Las Vegas shooting in October, according to NJ.com.
“There’s definitely a correlation between people’s perception of gun regulation and their likelihood and desire to buy guns,” stated Joseph Blocher, a professor of law at Duke University who specializes in Second Amendment issues.
Regardless of the media’s diatribes against gun ownership, Americans seem to understand that the best way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.
Tim Schmidt, president and founder of the U.S. Concealed Carry Association, contends that mass shootings make people aware of their vulnerabilities.
“I think that the massive news coverage of events like that gets people to realize, at least admit to maybe their own vulnerabilities,” Schmidt said. “And therefore, they want to be able to at least have a chance of protecting themselves, and so that’s why a lot of them will start down that path of learning more.”
But there may be even more to it than that: The vocal anti-gun movement may be the main motivator for the increase in sales and interest in concealed carry, as the uptick has been more pronounced than ever before.
“It’s kind of unprecedented, at least in our experience,” said Chris Schutrop, CEO and co-founder of the National Carry Academy. “We’re seeing just a lot of interest and a lot of people taking the [concealed carry] class — more than we’ve really ever seen before — even more than previous mass shootings that have happened or election cycles and stuff like that.”
The Examiner notes that the nationwide “March for Our Lives” demonstrations may have been a significant motivator. For instance, Minuteman Arms in Lovettsville, Virginia, posted a video on its Facebook page warning that there is a possible “gun grab” on the horizon and encouraged Americans to purchase guns while they still have the chance.
“When gun owners see the clamor and hear the rhetoric, of course it makes them concerned,” said Scott Bach, executive director of the Association of New Jersey Rifle and and Pistol Clubs. He contends that the greater the push to repeal, the more likely purchasing will go “through the ceiling.”
Matthew Maruster, lead firearms instructor at Zenith Defense in Ohio, observed that the Parkland shooting may have had a particularly profound impact on Americans because an armed sheriff’s deputy was at the school but did not intervene, nor did the first police officers who arrived on the scene.
“They see the vulnerability of putting all their trust in the police to protect them,” he said. “They see it as, ‘Oh, I can’t believe this happened and there were police officers there that didn’t act appropriately.’”
Larry Hyatt of Hyatt Guns in Charlotte, North Carolina, remarked that an increase in gun sales can also be attributed to a healthier economy. Justin Anderson, Hyatt’s marketing director, stated, “I think fear buying is only part of the equation. A more important variable is the overall economic outlook right now. The economy is growing, people have jobs, and they have money in their pockets. With a more positive outlook of their future, people are spending more money on luxury goods like firearms.” He added, "Our sales are literally off the charts right now. We’re currently at nearly 80 percent above where we were at the same time last year. I expect this trend to continue.”