WASHINGTON D.C. – As our nation falls into chaos, with criminals becoming emboldened as politicians across the country have jumped on the anti-police bandwagon, more people than ever before are starting to feel that the police cannot protect them.
This is through no fault of their own, as police officers have seen themselves charged criminally for doing their job, as happened this past week in Atlanta.
Police are also being overwhelmed by the unadulterated anarchy taking place on the streets in particular in our big cities.
Firearms sales had already started to surge due to the coronavirus pandemic, with The Guardian reporting that more than 3.7 million firearms checks were conducted through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, which is administered by the FBI in the month of March.
This number represented the highest number in over 20 years, and represented an increase of 80% over the same time period last year.
In fact, FBI data said the week of March 16, nearly 1.2 million background checks for firearms purchase were conducted, which blew past all previous records going back 22 years to 1998.
While the background checks do not necessarily correlate to gun sales, the number of background checks submitted through the FBI’s system gives a good correlation to the number of guns purchased.
Fast forward to this past month.
According to Fox News, gun sales spiked in May by more than 80% year to year compared to 2019, which correlates not only to the coronavirus pandemic but to the overwhelming civil unrest across the country.
Unlike the March report on background checks, the May report was specific to gun sales. Fox said that approximately 1,726,053 guns were sold in May—an increase of 80.2 percent over last May, according to data released by Small Arms Analytics & Forecasting, which examines raw data from the FBI’s NICS.
It is reported that of all the firearms sold, 1,052,723 were handguns and 535,014 were long guns, SAAF estimated.
Similar increases were reported in April as well, when data estimated a 71.3 percent increase versus last April.
Way back in February, 2017, Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC) introduced a bill that would provide national reciprocity. The legislation would have made concealed carry licenses valid across state lines much the same way as driver’s licenses are valid across the country.
In other words, someone with a concealed carry permit from say Kentucky could carry their firearm on a cross-country trip to Arizona.
According to AWR Hawkins writing for Breitbart News, national reciprocity makes sense. Hudson’s bill was passed in December, 2017, however the Republican-controlled Senate let it languish.
In January of last year, a bill was introduced in the Senate which was sponsored by 32 Republican senators and a companion bill was introduced in the House by Hudson, however once again the bills stalled.
There may be a shot at gaining the legislation this year, as anarchy and chaos reigning across the United States has gotten the attention of more people. Hawkins notes that President Trump said a year or so prior to his presidential run that he was in favor of such a law.
Breitbart had reported in September 2015 that he believed concealed carry should be treated like driver’s licenses and recognized throughout the country.
At the time, Trump said:
“The right of self-defense doesn’t stop at the end of your driveway. That’s why I have a concealed carry permit and why tens of millions of Americans do too.
That permit should be valid in all 50 states. A driver’s license works in every state, so it’s common sense that a concealed carry permit should work in every state.
If we can do that for driving—which is a privilege, not a right—then surely we can do that for concealed carry, which is a right, not a privilege.”
One person who responded to the Breitbart article, however did raise a good point.
He contends that if control of firearms is removed from individual states and given to the federal government, the states would never get that control back.
He contends that if the Democrats regain control of both chambers of Congress or the White House, all it would take is one bill or one executive order and concealed carry “could” be banned altogether.
As we have seen with an activist Supreme Court Chief Justice, the Second Amendment right now isn’t a guarantee. Any such bill must be approached with caution and due diligence.
In speaking to the significant increase in gun sales, Dana Loesch, radio talk show host and former spokesperson for the National Rifle Association told Fox Business that she was “not at all” surprised to hear about the surge in gun sales and believes people will be anxious to purchase firearms given the violence that has swept the nation.
“When people see the violence that they see on television—and people understand the difference between peaceful protesters and violent rioters—they see, you know, the sunset and then the fires start, and they see the assaults and the looting and the breaking and destruction of private property,” Loesch said. “So they look at this and it unnerves them, especially after we’ve all been locked up for, like, three months.”
She continued that the chances of someone’s business being looted or otherwise damaged decreases when the owners have access to firearms for protection.
“This is people’s livelihoods. For some people, their lives are over when they lose their ability to make ends meet. These aren’t rich corporation heads that are feeling the brunt of this.”
“When people see the way that law and order breaks down out of either a lack of respect just for law and order, or for an unwillingness to stop looting and rioting. They’re going to get firearms because they ultimately understand that they are their own first responder.”
The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) found that out of all the gun-buyers who entered the market recently, 40 percent were first time buyers who are “overwhelmingly purchasing handguns for personal protection.”
“The past months, and especially the events of the past week, show us that in uncertain times, law-abiding Americans will consistently choose to take responsibility for their own safety, as is their right,” said Mark Oliva, spokesman for NSSF.
“Police were already stretched thin before this wave of unrest, prisoners recently released from jails were being re-arrested for subsequent violent crimes, and the widespread destruction of personal property and assaults remind Americans that they must be their own first-responder.”
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