There is a perverse truth that has been overlooked in the latest effort by liberal activists and politicians to enact more gun control legislation. Gun sales are through the roof. Dealers are jacking up prices and shelves are emptying. Back orders at gun manufacturers are at all time highs. The threat to ban “assault weapons” has backfired. Instead of finding real solutions, the politicians are the single largest driver of gun and ammunition sales.
In the 1980’s when the Brady Bill was passed, millions of firearms were sold in the panic that ensued prior to the ban taking effect.The assault weapons ban in 1994 triggered another round of panic buying.
This ban, which was the downfall of the Clinton presidency, lasted 10 years and was largely ineffectual, as the manufacturers simply redesigned their product and continued doing business.
The FBI only began releasing the data on background checks in 1998 , but in that time has not explained how the database is managed in order to ensure that unauthorized purchasers are kept from obtaining firearms. When Fast & Furious is considered there is reason to doubt the system works very well. Over 2,700 firearms were allowed to fall into the hands of the Mexican drug cartels, presumably having undergone FBI background checks. One of the official reports on Fast & Furious stated that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, who were running the operation, weren’t even keeping track of the firearms purchases. There are some very strong reasons to believe the FBI system doesn’t work well.
In California in 2008, the Leftist state legislature, which has its own long-term romantic involvement with gun control, was at it again. The state enacted a ban on .50 cal rifles, ensuring that any inventory remaining would sell out immediately. Again manufacturers adapted and the same firearms became available in other calibers, getting around the law.
In the aftermath of the Tucson shooting in 2011 the state enacted AB 962 to end mail orders of ammunition; require fingerprinting of ammunition purchases; and restrict purchases significantly. None of these measures addressed the issue of keeping guns from the mentally ill, but the shooting was an excellent excuse for more gun control.
Before the law was overturned by a state judge, there was a massive increase in sales of ammunition in the state, and with it of firearms. Once again demand was driven by fear of the government’s actions.
The statistics are there for all to see. It is clear that the it is gun control legislation and government that has been the greatest single driver of gun sales since the 1980’s. Perhaps one day the Left will be willing to discuss the real issues, but it is doubtful.