President Biden’s latest round of attacks on guns is helping to drive an historic sales surge that continues to leave store shelves bare of firearms and ammunition. President Joe Biden speaks during an event in the State Dining room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, June 23, 2021, to discuss his gun crime prevention strategy. Susan Walsh/AP

Biden is gun salesman-in-chief, threats driving surge in purchases

Paul Bedard July 05, 08:13 AM July 05, 08:13 AM

President Biden’s latest round of attacks on guns is helping to drive an historic sales surge that continues to leave store shelves bare of firearms and ammunition.

Industry officials said that June sales were the second highest ever for the month, at about 1.3 million. Only June 2020 had a higher number for that month, at 2,177,586.

“To be clear,” said Mark Oliva, spokesman for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, “June 2021 is the second highest June on record.”

FBI background checks are also rolling to new highs. Through just the first six months of the year, they are already higher than for all of 2014, indicating that 2021 will see a new high of over 40 million.

Driving the sales surge, said industry officials, are the gun control threats from the Biden administration. Most recently, the White House has pushed a plan to tax and regulate the pistol style of AR-15 rifles and one of the most popular firearms.

In a review of the June sales, Oliva, whose group represents gun makers and sellers, also said that Biden’s nomination of a gun control advocate to head Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is helping to spark sales.

He said:

“It cannot be discounted that the continued elevated level of increased firearm purchases is driven, in part, by the gun control overtures by the Biden administration. As we head into Independence Day, Americans are exercising their right to keep and bear arms in record numbers even as the Biden administration is throwing up roadblocks to keep that from happening. These factors continue to drive the elevated levels of gun sales: the nomination of David Chipman, a gun control lobbyist to run the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the proposed rules to reclassify firearm receivers as well as pistols equipped with stabilizing arm braces under the National Firearms Act, and repeated calls to repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA). The Biden administration is determined to use every lever within reach to stifle and disrupt the free exercise of Second Amendment rights which begin with the ability of citizens who obey the law to freely approach the gun counter.”

However, while Biden has emphasized gun control, his party does not have enough support in the Senate to pass his agenda.

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