Background checks initiated with the National Instant Check System (NICS) in 2019 set a new record and one of the nation’s leading gun rights advocates gives credit to the political party that ironically seems determined to prevent such sales.
Quoted by the Washington Times, Alan Gottlieb, founder and executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation, put it bluntly: “Democrats have been the best gun salesmen of the year.”
Whether promising to ban whole classes of firearms, suggesting the National Guard might be called up to enforce gun control laws that county sheriffs refuse to enforce, or threatening to enact other extreme measures, Democrats have only themselves to blame for increased gun sales.
According to the FBI year-end figures on NICS checks, the past year saw a whopping 28,369,750 checks initiated. The FBI notes in a caveat that this does not translate directly to the number of firearms sold. However, the number is always a good indicator of firearms-related activity, and it suggests to Democrats their agenda isn’t working. Perhaps quite the opposite is happening.
Democrats only need to look at their own rhetoric to understand why they alienate firearms owners. From Beto O’Rourke’s proposed “mandatory buyback” to his declaration, “Hell, yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47” – with not a single other Democrat offering a rebuke—the lineup of presidential hopefuls have offered some version of gun control month-after-month since last spring.
Then came Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s attempt to push his gun control agenda, which Republicans rejected last summer. But anti-gun would-be president Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund dumped $2.5 million into the Virginia General Assembly election last fall and Democrats won the majority, thanks largely to voter apathy which saw only about a 40 percent turnout. Gun owner activism since then has resulted in the creation of 87 “Second Amendment Sanctuary” counties in Virginia, so it’s doubtful that state’s gun owners will allow such an election mistake happen again.
Out in the Pacific Northwest, as reported earlier, Democrat lawmakers in Oregon and Washington seem to have their fangs out for gun owners as legislative sessions loom. Down in Florida Democrats are pushing gun control, as well.
All this will accomplish is to bring gun owners out of their traditional lethargy and make them politically active.
“For gun owners, the election cycle has already started,” Gottlieb told the newspaper. “Their rights have already been under attack, and you are seeing record turnouts at meetings around the country.”
In December, according to NICS raw data, 2,936,894 checks were initiated and that’s the second highest number for the month dating back to 1998. In 2015, there were 3,314,594 NICS checks initiated.
So, what’s at work here besides Democrats and their big mouths?
Concealed carry is expanding to more than 18.6 million active carry licenses, according to the most recent estimate by the Crime Prevention Research Center. Look at Arizona, which is a “constitutional carry” state where licenses aren’t even required. The state added some 900 licenses in December, bringing the total number of active carry licenses to 350,258. Those licenses are recognized in other states, where Arizonans might travel.
In Washington, as reported earlier, there are now more than 646,000 active CPLs.
Translation: People are taking responsibility for their own safety, and the safety of their families, and they are not about to let a political party demonize their right to keep and bear arms into the trash bin.
This year could be pretty rowdy. Guns are in the spotlight and the Second Amendment has become a campaign issue. The party campaigning to clamp down on Second Amendment rights could find itself in the minority once again. If even two-thirds of those December NICS Checks were for completed gun sales, that’s a lot of hardware, and the party making the most fuss about it may be talking itself into a hole from which they can’t dig fast enough to escape.