Blue states have recently introduced restrictive gun laws that aim to remove firearms from the streets, but numerous states are now seeing massive increases in gun sales as Americans begin to “vote with their wallets,” according to data from the Firearm Industry Trade Association (NSSF).
Gun sales in Oregon, Washington and Illinois jumped either before or after legislators introduced or passed restrictive gun measures, according to National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) data adjusted by the NSSF. The number of gun sales per month in each state was based on the number of firearm background checks performed by NICS.
‘Threats, and actual legislation to limit the right of law-abiding citizens to own the firearm of their choosing, does have an effect on firearm sales,” NSSF Public Affairs Managing Director Mark Oliva told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
In November, Oregon residents narrowly passed Ballot Measure 114, a gun law that requires background checks, firearm training, fingerprint collection and a permit to purchase a gun. Following the law’s passing, background checks jumped from 29,472 in October to 86,075 in November, according to NSSF data obtained by the DCNF.
“Oregon’s figures easily demonstrate that Oregonians acted while they had the opportunity to buy the guns of their choice before the state moved to infringe on their Constitutional rights,” Oliva told the DCNF.
In March 2022, Democratic Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed three gun laws that restrict gun usage, including where guns can be carried, how to handle firearms without serial numbers and what kinds of magazines can be made and sold, according to The Spokesman-Review. After signing the laws, background checks jumped from 39,247 in February to 59,419 in March, according to the NSSF data.
In December 2022, Inslee announced additional gun control legislation that would ban “assault-style” weapons, hold manufacturers and retailers accountable for gun sales and implement a permit-to-purchase requirement for all gun buyers, according to a press conference.
“We intend in this session of the legislature to give Washingtonians assertive, effective and protective laws to protect them and their children against this epidemic of gun violence,” Inslee said.
Background checks in Illinois were at 33,326 in November, jumping to 42,305 in December, according to NSSF data.
“Every time new restrictions on firearms ownership are enacted we always see a spike in gun sales. The gun prohibition lobby is the best gun salesman out there. When people’s Second Amendment rights are attacked they respond by exercising them,” Second Amendment Foundation Founder Alan Gottlieb told the DCNF.
In January, Illinois passed a ban on “assault weapons” that went into effect immediately. The law banned more than 100 guns that were deemed “weapons of war” and limited magazine capacity to 10 rounds for long guns and 15 rounds for handguns, according to the legislation. However, the law states that gun owners can keep any firearm purchased before the ban took effect.
Leading up to the law’s passing, background checks climbed from 33,318 to 51,301 over a three-month period, according to NSSF data. “There’s been quite a rush of people trying to get in under the wire,” Maxon Shooter’s Supplies Owner Dan Eldridge told the Illinois Newsroom.
“Obviously, the law-abiding gun owners are concerned. And they’re voting with their wallets,” he continued.
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