In reaction to calls for stricter gun control, gun owners are in a frenzied rush to buy firearms before legal restrictions are imposed. Brownells Inc., a supplier of firearms accessories, says it sold 3.5 years worth of ammunition magazines in three days.
LA Times reports that Brownells Inc., which claims it is the world's largest supplier of firearms accessories and gunsmithing tools, says that consumer demand for ammunition magazines has been "unprecedented" recently. According to The Huffington Post, Brownells released a statement on a forum for gun enthusiasts apologizing for delays in fulfilling orders for assault weapon magazines. The statement explained that the company has been experiencing an "unprecedented" demand for AR-15 ammunition magazine in the the last three days.
According to Guns.com, the company president Pete Brownell, said, in the statement released on AR.15.com:
“I wanted to take a minute to shed some insight on the magazine situation if i can. First of all I wanted to offer an apology for the situation… with magazines being ‘In-Stock’ and back-ordered moments later… [The] demand for magazines actually exceeded the ability for the system to keep up with the volume that was being ordered. They way that our website works is that inventory is fed from our ERP system directly into the website in ‘real-time.’ Unfortunately, ‘real-time’ is the amount of time that it takes for the transactions to work both ways. During normal circumstances, it is nearly instant. However, we’ve been receiving orders at such a pace that these transactions have gotten slower. We absolutely apologize again, we definitely don’t want that ever to be your experience.
“To shed some more light on the magazine situation at present, it really has been unprecedented in the last 5 days. During a roughly the 72 hour period from Sunday afternoon to Monday evening we sold the ‘average demand’ equivalent of about 3.5 years worth of PMAGS, and an even greater amount of our Brownells magazines. We’re working like crazy to get these orders to you as quickly as possible.”
The company also said on its Facebook page that winter storms and "extreme order volumes" were delaying some shipments.
According to The Huffington Post, immediately after the Sandy Hook, Newtown shooting, gun sales spiked dramatically.
AR-15 Assault Rifle
The Los Angeles Times reports that after the negative publicity the gun industry received in the wake of the shooting, major firearms retailers have been more subtle in their sales approach and less forthcoming about the facts of their sales volume and business activities.
However, The Los Angeles Times reports that Cabela's, an outdoor products retailer, said it has stopped selling the AR-15 at its Connecticut store. Dick's Sporting Goods said it has removed all guns from its Newton store and stopped sales of modern sporting rifles around the country. According to LA Times, Wal-Mart took down the online information page for Bushmaster's Patrolman's Carbine M4A3 rifle.
The Huffington Post notes that AR-15 style weapons have become notorious as weapons of choice in mass shootings. They were used in both the Aurora theater shooting and the Newtown shooting. According to The Huffiington Post, Paul Marquardt, owner of ArmsX, a gun store near Sandy Hook Elementary, said that AR-15 style guns accounted for more than 25 percent of ArmsX’s recent sales.
The Huffington Post also reports that according to the FBI, even before the Newtown shooting, 2012 was already on course as a record year for gun sales. The FBI recorded more than 16.8 million background checks for guns purchased this year. The Huffington Post notes that "since the FBI does not actually track the number of firearms purchased, the number of weapons sold could be even higher than the number of background-check calls, since customers can purchase multiple guns."
Meanwhile, on Friday, the NRA announced it has a plan to train armed volunteers to protect schools across the country nation’s schools. The NRA Chief Executive Wayne LaPierre, said that apart from mental issues, gun-free school zones, the media, violent movies and video games were to blame for the recent spate of shootings.