Gun sales are surging after the weekend mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, fueled by first-time buyers seeking pistols they can carry with them for protection.
The latest jump validated a big increase in purchases and background checks recorded by the FBI that show the four most recent months higher than the same months in 2018.
What’s more, the trend in the “National Instant Criminal Background Check System,” or NICS, is on a path to make 2018 the second biggest year since 2016, when gun owners and prospective gun owners filled stores before the presidential election that was expected to elect gun control advocate Hillary Rodham Clinton.
According to the latest NICS numbers just released, this year there have been nearly 16 million background checks, which are done for gun sales, applications for concealed carry permits and other gun-related legal issues.
As with past mass shootings, applications for concealed carry permits and interest in smaller pistols has increased. But the twin shooting has sparked even more interest.
We checked in with Hyatt Guns in Charlotte, N.C., one of the nation’s largest, and Marketing Director Justin Anderson explained the trend to us.
“While we have seen a measured rise in sale of certain tactical rifles and accessories this week, most customers are looking for concealed carry handguns,” Anderson said.
“Just this week we have fielded hundreds of calls from people that have never purchased a gun before. Our concealed carry training classes are filling up quickly. People are realizing that even a trip to Walmart isn’t safe these days and they want to be able to protect themselves. Remember that nothing stops a lunatic bent on carnage better than a law abiding citizen with a gun. I continue to urge people to get a gun, get trained with that gun, and carry, always,” he added.