Gun Sales Soar In Aftermath Of Newtown Killings

Tyler Durden's picture

As so often happens when dealing with the fickle public, the aftermath of the news of the second worst school massacre in US history has led to precisely the opposite outcome to the one desired by the media and at least part of the general population. Because in the backlash for gun control at its tamest, and against weapon ownership of any kind at its most rabid, driven primarily by those who don't own weapons, everyone else decided to think one step ahead and preempt what may soon be yet another governmental subjugation of a constitutional amendment. The result? An absolute surge in weapon sales in the days following last Friday's tragedy.

The Guardian reports:

Karl Durkheimer is more coy than might be expected of a man with a pistol on his hip.


Durkheimer's gun shop looks to have enjoyed record sales of semi-automatics – "modern sporting rifles", as he calls them – and handguns at the weekend. But he doesn't want to talk specific numbers.


Nor is he terribly keen to speculate on the causes of the sudden demand. But he acknowledges that it probably has everything to do with a man killing two people with an assault rifle last week in a Portland shopping mall less than 10 minutes drive away, and Friday's massacre of 20 small children and seven adults on the other side of the country in Connecticut.


"Handgun sales are up substantially and modern sporting rifles are up astronomically," he said after a few days when his shop, Northwest Armory, was packed with buyers sizing up the most popular pistol in the US, the Glock, and the military-style AR-15 assault rifle, which also comes with a pink stock for women. "The people you see are twofold. There are first-time buyers who are in fear of what the future will bring. But most of what you saw is people hedging their bets that there might be a political policy put forward by the liberal side of the government."


Durkheimer means his shoppers fear that the shock of the Newtown, Connecticut, killings might cause the public and Congress to support a reinstatement of the ban on some of his most popular lines.


That's a picture replicated across the US from California to Louisiana, and even in Newtown where Robert Caselnova said his gun shop saw high demand for assault rifles in the days after the killings. The nationwide increase in sales was reflected in longer than usual delays for legally required background checks which in some cases took hours rather than minutes.


The surge in sales is not unusual. Following a mass killing at a Colorado cinema in July, applications to buy guns rose more than 40% in a week. The murder two years ago of six people during an assassination attempt against congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was badly wounded, prompted a 60% increase in gun sales in a single day in Arizona.

And while we have been following the slow and steady rise in gun sales, punctuated by two key events which have sent gun sales soaring, namely the Obama election and reelection, the pick up in sales seen last weekend is unprecedented. And to confirm fears that whether by way of the Second Amendment or not, various chains may halt gun sales, earlier today we got confirmation from Dick's Sporting Goods that they have suspended sales of rifles nationwide:

Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. (DKS), the largest U.S. sporting-goods chain, has suspended sales of modern sporting rifles in the wake of the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, as the community mourns victims of the massacre.


Sales of all guns have been stopped at its store closest to the shooting, the Coraopolis, Pennsylvania-based company said today in an e-mailed statement.


Dick’s is pulling the products after 26 people -- mostly children -- were killed during a Dec. 14 shooting rampage at an elementary school in Newtown. The chain, which has more than 500 stores in the U.S., sells guns and ammunition in stores and not online, according to its website.


“We are extremely saddened by the unspeakable tragedy that occurred last week,” the company said in the statement. Dick’s is removing the guns “out of respect for the victims and their families.”

Noble gesture, to be sure, but all it is really doing is leading to even greater sales at all other gun retailer outlets. And indeed, as fears that more and more companies may halt sales, the scramble to weaponize themselves, will keep Americans busy for days and weeks to come.

On the question of how gun owners see last Friday's tragedy, the Guardian had this to add:

The buyers regard the Newtown killings as a tragedy, but view any connection to their right to own weapons as a political ploy aimed at depriving them of their guns.


"It's terrible what happened. It's just plain evil," said Richard Merritt on the steps of the gun shop after browsing assault rifles with a thought to buying himself one for Christmas to supplement the handguns and hunting rifle he owns.


"But there's people trying to use that to say I'm responsible because I own a gun. Where's the connection? The only people making one are doing it for political ends because there's not one of these massacres would ever have been stopped by a law that takes my gun away. But now they're talking about doing that again, I think this may be the time to buy."


Durkheimer is sick of gun owners being painted as the problem. Like many, he feels demonised and vilified for the crimes of a few because he enjoys hunting and shooting ranges. That puts him on the defensive when groups campaigning for tightened gun regulation might be better off trying to win him over with assurances that their calls to restrict the sale of assault rifles and magazines that hold large numbers of bullets won't end with the confiscation of handguns and hunting rifles.


"It's just another thing that will drive a wedge between us. Instead of the United States being a melting pot it's more polarised," he said.

Well, class warfare in the US is nothing new. And of course, what is most ironic, is that it is precisely the fear of forced, unilateral rejection, by either or all three branches of government, of the original constitution and its various amendments that has Americans scrambling into gun stores. And thus the closed loop nature of the problem: by threatening to take away America's guns, the government is only exacerbating a problem that is steeped in 200+ years of history and is engrained deep in American psychology.

What is the solution?

We don't know, but we do know that the government stepping in confident it can and will fix and regulate everything is precisely what will only make the problem far, far worse.

We do know that heart of the problem is far, far deeper than one or more tragic mass shootings can reveal. In fact the full extent of the problem begins to be unmasked courtesy of the chart we showed yesterday, and which was to be found, ironically enough, in the most recent Smith and Wesson investor presentation.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
crusty curmudgeon's picture

That's what happens when you ban private ownership of all assault weapons manufactured after 1986. 

There are only so many available.

It's that "supply and demand" thing.

TruthInSunshine's picture

What about cars or trucks? Those are stupid easy to get a hold of, yo.

Can you imagine if he had stolen or jacked a semi truck and smashed it into the school at a high rate of speed?

It'd be like the Bath, Michigan school disaster of 1927  all over again; maybe worse.

Or what about an attack with molotov cocktails, which are "trivially accessible" since they can be made with a fifth of strong rum or vodka (or container of sterno), a rag and a lighter?'s picture

Speaking of stupid, if guns were banned like drugs are banned then crazy people would find it as difficult to get guns as it is difficult for them to get heroin or methamphetamine today. Then the sane people would be safe.

Freddie's picture

Crazy people can buy gas, cars and trucks, plastic/glass bottles to put gas in to make molotov cocktails.

They can also get elected to Congress and the Presidency, through rigged elections.  They can also run large banks.

What is your point?

otto skorzeny's picture

plastic Molo bottle?I think the Polish invented those

Panafrican Funktron Robot's picture

He was probably taking an SSRI or Ritalin/Adderall, most of which affect your norepinephrine levels.  High levels of norepinephrine are associated with high functioning from a learning standpoint (shooter was a smart kid) and akathisia, which is characterized by heightened aggression and dissociative behaviors.  These symptoms can be aggrevated through increased agonism (ie., flow) through NMDA-glutamate channels, which can be affected by diet (stuff like MSG, hydrolized proteins, protein isolates, etc.).

Ie., this kid was poisoned and drugged.



sadmamapatriot's picture

This kid was a schizophrenic, classic age for full onset of symptoms. He was not on the RIGHT medicines and mom probably should have had him institutionalized. She paid for her denial with her life.

MachoMan's picture

good luck trying to get 30 rd gen 3 pmags atm...

Freddie's picture

I watched a PMAG video on a retailer site. I "ain't" telling you where because they have them still in stock.

They tested PMags against other comparable mags like metal USGI, metal HK's, Thermolds, Orlites and maybe Lancers.

Some guys ran em over with a bigger Chevy pickup.   They ground em with the front tires.  they did burnouts with the rears.  PMags held up. 

They had a video GI's in that hellhole Iraq (bring em ALL home now Dear Mullah O).  They were running em over with HummVees.  The PMags held up which was insane.   It finally failed with a high speed pass by a HumVee.   The Hummers are now mega heavy crew cab pickup trucks.   They must weigh at least 8,000 lbs now. 

Poor kids in Iraq and Afghanistan wasting away.  Total BS. Bring them home now!

dtwn's picture

Brownell's had a 10 pack for $99 with free shipping on the day of the incident.  They are now $125.  25% return in a few days?  I'll take it.

krispkritter's picture also stopped selling guns today.  Their mags jumped sharply; I even went and put in a catalog number from Dec's catalog where it listed for $17.99 and it showed $29.99 online. Pretty much taking advantage of the situation all around. Guess they figured if they're giving up gun income, they'll make it back some other way. Just checked the FB page and there are about 5000+ pissed off people on there...

Hugh_Jorgan's picture

CTD will regret their politically-correct "roll-over" for the anti-gun lobby...

MachoMan's picture

CTD has had a very large backlash in the community (last election) for price gouging...  take a look at their prices for xm855 :-)  At least they ship quickly...  [they do have circle 10 mags in stock btw and not a bad price for them]

The biggest problems with gun sales are: (a) actually being able to get guns in stock; and (b) small margins.

e_goldstein's picture

CTD used to be a good company. Now I find myself buying from: for magazines and for ammo. 

WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot's picture

Thanks for the heads up. Pmags on CTD today = $59.00!!! I also like for bulk purchases, but they're inventory is a little low right now.

klockwerks's picture

Great ammo prices at Order yesterday and received today good HP prices

krispkritter's picture

Good site for deals and comparison shopping ammo.  I regularly use them to locate hard to find items.  I found through them.

catacl1sm's picture

I was wondering why there were no weapons listed on there today.

Freddie's picture

CTD pulls that sh*t all the time and gun owners are on to them.  You order at one price and they change the price at checkout. Avoid.

otto skorzeny's picture

capitalism bitchez-suply and demand. don't like it-don't buy it

piceridu's picture

Sorry TIS, but logic and reason are not allowed. Illogical knee jerk and hysterical reactions always take precedence. How dare you you concise, lucid arguments to prove your point.

TruthInSunshine's picture

oops, my bad. I forgot Orwell's warning about "truth in a time of universal deceit."

Everyone should turn their firearms in for Carl's, Jr. vouchers for Extra Big Ass Fries.

Edelweiss's picture

  You've illustrated a point many of us here are painfully aware of.  It's nearly impossible to sway someone with facts once they've committed to a particular belief or agenda.  In the early 90's, in my home state of Illinois, the governor backed a bill to ban the possession of "assault rifles" .  According to the uniform crime report at the time, only 14 deaths by rifle had occured here in the previous year.  The report gave no info on what types of rifles they were.  What an idiotic waste of time and taxpayer money. The current governor is pursuing the same path based on emotional pleas to legislators and the public.  It's easier to do that, than to address the second worst state deficit, and ongoing corruption evidently.   Illinois is home to major gun manufacturers like Springfield Armory, Armalite, and Rock River.  I'm sure they will figure out a way to keep collecting tax revenue from those makers of evil black guns, while doing everything in their power to ensure Illinoisans can't own them.  The thought of it makes me sick. 

WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot's picture

Springfield Armory, Armalite, and Rock River need to go galt and GTFO of that miserable state. PWS arms FTW.

ImReady's picture

LMT is also in Illinois. As a resident of this god forsaken state I make a point to Only purchase from IL gun manufacturers. Talk about surviving in  adverse conditions! 

SNS Casting(also Il)  makes great cast bullets if you reload. 


Freddie's picture

LMT's .308 is insane. The British Army actually got smart and bought some of them.  DSA is also in Illinois.

What corrupt hell hole.  I went to Chicago or really the suburbs once.  Lots of machine tool and tool & die Germans up there.  loads of great gun companies in IL.  They should all leave.

If the Dems go after guns - gun owners need to boycott those F's in Hollywood.  Hit them in their pocket - Hollywood scum will make the Dems back down.  They love their $$.

TruthInSunshine's picture

LMT is definitely top tier (and I'm not one to focus obsessively on "the chart," since testing is as important as individual component specs, and LMT does both correctly).

The best part about LMT is that if you can tell your wife you merely bought some more tools from "Lewis Machine & Tool Company" if she sees the charge on your credit card statement.

And yes, the .308 they're providing to the Brits is quite accurate and extremely reliable.

Agent P's picture

As saddened as I am over the events of last Friday, I am glad to see at least a few people are thinking rationally on the subject. 

quasimodo's picture

Ah yes, Cerebus. The greek mythology dog with three heads that guards the underworld. How ironic, and started by a joo to boot.

alangreedspank's picture

Good post. Same could be said about gamers: most of the mass killers played violent video games, but let's forget about the astounding majority of gamers who will never commit a violent crime.

Go Tribe's picture

"The culprit was anti-social and was inclined towards non-empathy"


Hard to find fault with that.

aerojet's picture

The media seems so desperate to push their masters' gun control agenda.  The only problem is, a large number of people just aren't buying it.  Instead, what they are buying is more guns, mags, and ammunition.  I happen to think that that, too, is an irrational gesture, but it seems awfully hard to communicate with our representatives in government these days.  Going out and buying a gun sends a really clear message about "shall not be infringed" though.  And honestly, why should my rights suffer because some mental piece of trash committed a violent crime?  And spare me all the warm fuzzies about how difficult it is to deal with mentally ill people--as long as they make no overt threats to anyone else, that is one thing.  As soon as they become violent, that is quite another. 

WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot's picture

I admit I felt somewhat reactionary and irrational buying up pmags today, but I share your reasoning. The MSM is pushing the meme that society wants, neigh, DEMANDS strict gun control legislation, and that Obama and congress therefore have a mandate to oblige. Record sales of guns, mags and ammo serves as a strong counterweight to the mainline propaganda.

1100-TACTICAL-12's picture

just got home with a nice little 9 for the wife. had to wait 2 hrs for background check all ATF circuts were busy.

BC6's picture

If only we could see this same anger and call for action from the political elite to stop the looting and prosecute the banksters who have indirectly caused infinite more pain and suffering than the 20 children and 6 adults tragically killed in Newton, CT.

Or to ban the violence coming from the cesspool of filth called Hollywood.

Or to talk about the real problem, which was this kid's mental health.


Bad Attitude's picture

Maybe gun inventories have been depleted by the record sales?

No, I don't think so either. Again, the media is lying to us, and they wonder why their market share if dropping.

Buy guns, magazines, and ammunition while you can.

Freddie's picture

Do what Elvis did.  Buy a gun and shoot out your TVs.  ALL TV and ALL of Hollywood are total s**t.   Screw The Matrix.

mayhem_korner's picture



I thought they said that SR and Remington stocks were falling.  In any case, it's still yes, yes, yes and yes.

dtwn's picture

I was in my early teens back in '94, had gone to a gun show with my mom prior to signing of the assault weapons ban.  Begged her to buy me an UZI ($1500 at that time) for investment purposes/to preempt the gov when I would be old enough to own it.  Not surprisingly she did not.  I did however buy a couple 25rd mags for my Ruger 10/22.  When I sold it a few years later, that was a strong selling point and increased the value of the package.

 Believe me, this is still fresh in my mind and I guarantee it is in the mind of others who are old enough to remember.  Any talk of gun regs and sales are going to go through the roof.  Good time to learn gunsmithing I suppose, not everyone knows how to take care of their firearms.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

"The media does not want you to see this."

A concealed carry permitted armed citizen showing the mall shooter there is someone who is willing to fight back?

Nah, it doesn't fit into the fear agenda.

mayhem_korner's picture



"Gun control" = I control my guns


cornedmutton's picture

I have a very strict gun control policy.

If there's a gun anywhere near me, I want to be in control of it.

knightowl77's picture

If we meet, keep your hands off mine   ;-)

MachoMan's picture

no shit...  that's a good way to get shot.  Might be a bad idea when he's around cops too...

otto skorzeny's picture

if its in NYC you don't have to worry too much about getting hit by accurate fire.

I Am Not a Copper Top's picture

Gun control = Always keep both hands on the weapon