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.

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edifice's picture

And the government won, a long time ago. Sorry, but it's true; you can't compete with their arms.

Lednbrass's picture

And yet their track record against insurgencies in the last 50 years is pretty dismal.

jack stephan's picture

- Soldiers! Pompey and the Senate have formally declared that Gaius Julius Caesar is an enemy of Rome.

- No!

- They have declared that I am a criminal. They have declared, in effect, that all of you also are criminals!

- No!

- The tribune's veto was not exercised. Peoples
tribune Mark Antony and 50 men of the 13th were assaulted by 1000 head of Pompeian scum.

- No !

- A tribune of the plebs assaulted on the steps of the Senate house! Can you imagine a more terrible sacrilege? Our beloved Republic is in the hands of madmen. This is a dark day, and I stand at a fork in the road. I can abide the law and surrender my arms to the Senate - and watch the Republic fall to tyranny and chaos. Or, I can go home with my sword in hand and run those maniacs to the Tarpean Rock!

Freddie's picture

The Roman Senate helped destroy Rome.  They sent Roman troops all around the worl on chicken shit missions so they would not be in Rome to protect the public from the Senate rats.    The Roman populace was unarmed so there was little they could do.   Not much has changed i.e. a corrupt Senate.

kragsquest's picture

Why do the Newtown killings look psychologically like "Psycho"?


Every principal, especially those paid $100K plus should have concealed carry:

Global Hunter's picture

rhetorical: how come people who want to ban guns from individuals never say boo about the government and its weapons

Withdrawn Sanction's picture

?Because government is a force for good?  No, no, that's not it...because government is a force for force.

dexter_morgan's picture

Because people have been trained, in govt. schools for the most part, to act upon emotions instead of upon thought. Just the term assault weapons shows this - there is no such thing, but they see pictures of nasty looking guns that are really no different than any other semi-automatic rifle and think THESE MUST BE BANNED. No critical thinking goes in to why they someday might be glad they have the right to own and carry, though they cannot conceive of why presently. I wish no evil on them, but if they had been victims of violent sexual crime they may think differently and not take the simpletons way out by blaming the inanimate object.

Mad Mohel's picture

I hope these gun shop guys make enough to retire, because their businesses are about to be double shitcanned. They kind of deserve it the gouging bastards.

francis_sawyer's picture

So... If you don't like it... be resourceful and swage your own... Go Kyle Bass & shit... A thinking man could turn nickles into jackets...

Freddie's picture

My guess is you would like them if they took EBT cards.  It is called capitalism.   Go shove the D*ms h**e and c**e up yo*r arsehole.

Mad Mohel's picture

Sooner or later we're all going to be on the EBT son. Wow, wish I could see you when you slap that shit down on the donut counter. :D

A. Magnus's picture

"rhetorical: how come people who want to ban guns from individuals never say boo about the government and its weapons"

Because these idiots fancy themselves as part of the 'winning team' and can't imagine the government's guns ever being pointed at them. These people deny atrocities like Waco and Kent State and then lecture the rest of the world on how to live...


edifice's picture

In Colorado, we broke the state record; CBI reported over 4,000 background check requests over the weekend. Get 'em now, before they're illegal...

dexter_morgan's picture

This is kind of personal, but I'm going to throw it out there anyways. Person close to me was raped years ago. That was a devastating experience for her and those close to her. She now carries. She feels safer and is bound that what happened to her before will never happen again.

I am not willing to take that right away form her, to protect herself, why are so many others on here willing to do that? I really don't get it my friends.

gwar5's picture

83% of Americans will experience a violent assalt in their lives, 52% more than once.


FWIW factoid: DOJ reported in 2005 (last available when I last checked in 2007) there were statistically 0 (zero!) white on black rapes -- Only 5 total were reported, and 3 were frauds, and 2 were really Hispanic perps classified as 'white'.  Meanwhile, there were about 30,000 black on white rapes, or, one every 20 minutes.

Total > 200,000 rapes USA.

So who's the real race victims in society? Where's the hate crime prosecutions to protect us crackers? And the rape stats are like that every year! Homicides too, as most already know, but I was absolutely shocked at the rape stats.

This is not a racial condemnation at all either. Facts are not racist. On the contrary, this is a condemnation of the failure of the 1960's Great Society, and the fact that we can't solve real problems among fellow Americans because we are not even allowed to talk about reality. We are just told to shut up and write the damn checks. 


gwar5's picture

Flash: Adam Lanza snapped when found out Mom was going to have him committed.


Can we have please have Michael 'Robespierre' Bloomberg committed?  He'll be happy there, it's another guaranteed 'gun free zone' ...... promise.


onlooker's picture



With a terrible economy and unemployment at record highs, gun sales seemed to have been off over the last 3 ½ years with all types of ammunition available at somewhat reasonable prices. There was a shortage of ammo in the time of Gore vs Bush with higher gun sales. Some ammo was difficult to get with high prices. When Bush was elected, gun sales plunged and all types of ammo was available a reasonable prices. The average value of a gun went south with no buyers at any price. The 1st election of Obama caused some hubbub.  Gun sale surge did not happen with the 2nd election of Obama to the extent I expected. Ammo was fairly stable in price and availability. I think the depressed economy had an impact. The Democrats such as Feinstein, Durbin, and Schumer being fairly quiet for the second presidential election and attempt to gain the House, lulled many of the skeptical gun enthusiasts into calm.


With the aggressive attitude and actions of the present White House and the history of Gun Control by the Democrats  starting with President Carter become somewhat of a worry with those that have carefully watched the war against gun ownership through the past decades.


Those who have discussed draconian possibilities since President and Mrs. Clinton were in the White House are now at a consensus that the time is here. Heavy handed gun control is now not a possibility, but will shortly be a reality.


There are over 60 year old, and over 70 year old gun owners that realize the society they  grew up in has been destroyed. The values and stability of the 30s to the 60s has been destroyed. For whatever reasons, and the reasons no longer matter in that society does not appear interested in a change. Many in this group concede that the general population is not responsible enough or sane enough or drug free enough to be in possession of weapons that can be used for offence. Unfortunately some of these weapons that are designed for defense will fall into the category of offense.


As America has fallen victim to criminal bankers and politicians and again watched huge loss of American wealth and jobs and independence and savings and freedom, we now must accept that a majority must fall prey to a small minority increased rate of crime and violence and not have the ability to defend themselves against it. As America has been unable to defend itself against the institutional criminals, America must accept that to save lives of our children we must in the same manner, surrender to all criminals.


However, if the gun ban does not produce a crime free society, there will be hell to pay.

A. Magnus's picture

"However, if the gun ban does not produce a crime free society, there will be hell to pay."

Really? So tell me how that 'hell to pay' is panning out in Great Britain and Austrailia, where crime skyrocketed after they banned guns...are they giving their governments hell by keeping quiet, with their tails between their legs? Sheeple will ALWAYS submit to whatever 'authority' is paraded before them. Your argument needs legs like the banking system needs accountability...

Marley's picture

Yeah, Obama backs complete ban on assault weapons!

About the only thing I've agreed with this President.

dexter_morgan's picture

hey fuckstick - define precisely what an assault weapon is?

DosZap's picture

hey fuckstick - define precisely what an assault weapon is?

Right on, we know that dude is definitely a MSM Sheeple.

I have given the TRUE facts on exactly what constitutes an ASSAULT WEAPON here many times, some folks just do not get it.

It's like calling Silver GOLD, and vice versa, NO questions asked sheeple accepted.

THIS TIME,LOOK for FrANKeinstein to NOT allow a Grandfather clause to the legislation,SHE will come after the WHOLE ball of wax,which will cause a major shitstorm, and maybe even be the catalyst for open season.

PRAY this does not happen,because it will not be pretty.

crusty curmudgeon's picture

Well, if you recall from the earlier "assault weapons" ban, they were rifles with those evil looking flash suppressors and bayonet mounts.

<Shiver> Dang, those bayonet mounts are scary!

A. Magnus's picture

"When Bush was elected, gun sales plunged and all types of ammo was available a reasonable prices. The average value of a gun went south with no buyers at any price. "

Until Katrina, when Bush went all gun-grabber in New Orleans and the idiot, pickle-puffing Neocons cheered as he turned Nawlins into Fallujah.  THAT's when I, and millions like me, bought my guns. Nobody is sticking this Jew into any ovens without a fight...

DosZap's picture

 Bush went all gun-grabber in New Orleans

Can't hang that one on BUSH bro(although he is guilty of a lot), the Gov, and Mayor and Police chief pulled that shit ALL on their own.(WITH ZERO authority to do so).

Just like Bush was blamed for the Katrina aftermath, and disaster, he called the Mayor Nagin, and the Governor 2-3 times 4-5 days PRIOR to Katrina asking them to evac, the crazy bstds ignored him.

'Needless deaths occured, ALL that was on the Mayor, and Governor.

A. Magnus's picture

"Can't hang that one on BUSH bro(although he is guilty of a lot), the Gov, and Mayor and Police chief pulled that shit ALL on their own.(WITH ZERO authority to do so)."

Who was the COMMANDER IN CHIEF over ALL national guards, nationwide? The Governor, Mayor and Police Chief? Really? THEY gave the orders to go house to house to take people's guns? I'd like to see evidence of that, especially when NOBODY messes with the chain of command at that level.

"Just like Bush was blamed for the Katrina aftermath, and disaster, he called the Mayor Nagin, and the Governor 2-3 times 4-5 days PRIOR to Katrina asking them to evac, the crazy bstds ignored him."

I'll believe it when I see it; Bush had several months of advance knowledge before 9/11 but I didn't see him calling ANYONE to warn them about ANYTHING.

You can convince me of many things, but convincing me that a traitor cares about this country will need a LOT more work...



Freddie's picture

I don't like Bush but I am not sure he banned guns in New Orleans.

groundedkiwi's picture

Maybe the school shootings happened because his mother was a prepper. In his warped mind he may have thought he was saving his mother and the children from the end of the world?

docj's picture

Gun-grabber: We need to have "a conversation about guns".

Translation: I am going to dictate to you sheeple what I want to happen because we've been having "a conversation about guns" in this country for about 40-years and I cannot seem to win on the merits. It's a "conversation" because I further demand that you nod in agreement, like the good sheeple you are.

Bicycle Repairman's picture

No more conversations.  We're done.

aerojet's picture

Yup, I agree.  Come and get them if you dare.

notadouche's picture

According to many stories I've read posted on ZH the biggest "preppers" in our society is the Dept of Homeland Security and the US Government yet the MSM and political elites don't seem to have a problem with that.  It's only when the individual prepares does it seem to be connected with a low intellect move.   Curious.

drmfh's picture

I called a couple of local gun stores yesterday and today and tried to find out if they had any AR-15s. They both sold everything out. I couldn't find any sites with bulk .223/5.56mm caliber cartridges in stock. Definitely demand is up.

notadouche's picture

Oh boy I feel a "war on guns" coming as a newly founded dept within the government.  Let's see how has the War ond Drugs worked out?  War on poverty?  War on terror?  War on...

"Doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result is the definition of insanity"  Hmmm....

Thomas Jefferson's picture

If guns were illegal Building 7 would still be standing.  Oh wait.  I must have mixed up the story like the BBC.

By the way,  anyone heard what happened with the guy in the Sandy Hook woods with the camo pants and dark jacket?  Didn't think so.

balanced's picture

There were over 10,000 Americans killed last year by drunk drivers. Where are the cries for banning cars?

A. Magnus's picture

Doctors killed over 120,000 last year but they're allowed to run as free as Mengele did before the collapse of the last Reich...

notadouche's picture

Well I think that would more correlate with banning alcohol.  Oh wait that already happened once.  How'd that work out again? 

crusty curmudgeon's picture

It worked out about as well as the ban on drugs.  Well, I guess that isn't working out very well.

How about this:  It worked out as well as the argument that if we created the Fed, it would put an end to booms and busts?

Er, no, that hasn't worked out so well either, I guess.

How about this:  It worked out as well as WWI would be the war to end all wars.

Er, hmmm. 

This time, though, banning guns will create nothing but pure, blissful peace.  You can count on that!

crusty curmudgeon's picture

Wake up, Flakmeister!  I hid a logical fallacy in there somewhere.  Can you find it?

dexter_morgan's picture

An assault weapon ban is sure to fix it..........

Where I used to live as a kid there were two 'mental hospitals' within a 50 mile radius. As an alter boy I had to go to one of those every couple of months to assist with mass. I know they had violent mentally ill in there, and we had to be let in via a locked metal door, and let out same way. Both of these facilities are now closed some 40 years later, but where did all those people go?

Duke Dog's picture


Just went in this morning when I first heard and unloaded my cart. Being doing business with them for almost a decade and they just opened up one of their two retail locations down the road. A total shame!

Freddie's picture

Cheaper Than Dirt was getting a crap reputation with some gun owners.  They were saying their multiple warehouse pricing sucked. 

Duke Dog's picture

When I first began doing business with them they had no retail locations and one warehouse in Ft. Worth and one in Shreveport Lo. Delivery service has always been outstanding, but pricing on both delivery charges and product began to suffer 3/4 years ago - although I had not associated it with "gouging" as much as "profitability" issues from a huge expansion in warehousing and adding a couple of retail outlets. It was easy enough with two warehouses involved - shipping was the same amount regardless of which warehouse it shipped from even if the order came from both. It had become much more difficult until I found out that I was spared all shipping charges if I ordered online from inside their store - it was still shipped directly to my front porch. Ah well, what a bitch!

crusty curmudgeon's picture

This doesn't sound right to me.  They didn't say they were doing this in response to the mass killing, as Dick's did.

It actually worries me a bit.  What specific pressure or threats are they responding to? 

dexter_morgan's picture

Yeah, plus no mention or statement by NRA - WTF

Startin to like Larry Pratt and GOA better every year

Mad Mohel's picture

CTD are gouging bastards and many remember their dirty ammo gouging from the first O election. They are suspending sales to preserve stock and wait to sell when they can get higher prices. That is just around the corner, as soon as Congress get back and fires up the ban machine, you will see CTD selling hand over fist. The prices though will warrant that you grab your ankles, especially if you want an AR.

crusty curmudgeon's picture

Funny.  I'm not sure whether I'm the conspiracy theorist or you are!?  In any case, I hope you're right.  I'd rather boycott a company for being bastards than them going out of business because of a "3-letter agency" crackdown.