We knew that it was going to be big, but in fact, it turned out to be “yuuge.” Despite Republican real estate mogul Donald Trump securing the White House — and thereby ensuring that there will be no gun control legislation introduced during his administration — gun sales throughout November and December astounded industry analysts.
The data on gun sales is hard to deny. According to investment resource site Benzinga, before “reports were even in for December 2016, firearm background checks for the year had already surpassed the previous annual record by more than 1.5 million. By the time the final numbers came in, 2016 beat out 2015 by a 2.9-million margin.”
Furthermore, with “52,306,187 total checks, every month saw year-to-year increases of more than 108,000 checks, with the highest difference in January at 773,008. Month-to-month trends for 2016 were less stable, with four of the months boasting fewer checks than their forerunners.”
Fox Business further reiterated that last December was a record month for gun sales when bringing other factors into context:
Background checks for the period were the third most for a December since the FBI began tracking the data back in the late 1990s. It was surpassed only by December 2012, when 2.78 million background checks were conducted and December 2015, when 3.31 million were performed.
What’s especially notable about those two months was that they both experienced tragic incidents. Four years ago was the Sandy Hook school shooting, and last year was the San Bernardino, California, attacks. Dec. 2016 was still a record month, because it was the highest number of background checks performed without major news pushing the numbers higher.
Interestingly, neither of the two aforementioned articles mentioned the real driver behind the boost in gun sales — crazy California gun laws that, since January 1st of this year, deemed popular semi automatic rifles such as the AR15 as “assault weapons.”
What exactly are assault weapons? According to standard legal nomenclature, assault weapons are firearms that have been determined to be too dangerous for public use. This typically means fully automatic rifles. But according to newly introduced California gun laws, the assault weapons classification now includes semi automatic rifles that have a combination of illegal features, which are detachable magazine, protruding pistol grip, an adjustable butt stock, and a flash hider/suppressor.
In order to avoid being forced to make their rifles “featureless,” California shooters had the option of taking physical delivery of a soon-to-be-banned weapon prior to January 1st, which would then “grandfather” the firearm for a one year grace period. According to these new leftist policies, gun owners have until December 31st of this year to register their AR15 and other offending semi auto rifles as assault weapons. Non-compliance equates to illegal ownership of banned firearms — a very serious crime.
These California gun laws really did a number on folks, catalyzing gun sales unnecessarily. It’s really a mind trick. Nobody wants to own registered assault weapons as that would give essentially a deed to the state to run inspections on the firearms, whenever and wherever they want. Additionally, California shooters don’t want the government to know their private, personal matters.
So really, the only logical choice for California shooters is to make their AR15 and offending semi auto rifles featureless. However, the loophole in these new liberal policies is that if three of the four banned features are corrected — ie. permanently fixed butt stock, removal or acceptable adjustment to the pistol grip, and removal of the flash hider — then shooters are allowed to have detachable magazines. As insane as it sounds, the detachable magazine only adds to the convenience of the AR15 platform. So according to California gun laws, featureless AR15 rifles are actually much more similar to “assault weapons” than rifles legally defined as such!
In essence, liberal policies that were designed to close loopholes instead created more. California gun laws won’t stem the tide of gun sales. Gun manufacturers will get savvy, and introduce featureless AR15s (which are more convenient anyways) to a hungry public. Ultimately, this only goes to show just how desperate the leftist elites are to impose their progressive agenda.