NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Threats Of New Gun Laws Prompt Surge In Sales

June 8, 1999

The gun market booms every time consumers perceive a threat that regulations will make it harder to obtain firearms -- and this year is no exception. Industry insiders report that weapons are flying off the shelves.

  • A Minneapolis gun and ammunition retailer says sales are up 112 percent for the first five months of this year.
  • A Bellevue, Wash., gun-shop owner reports a stampede of first-time buyers.
  • A Santa Fe Springs, Calif., manufacturer of ammunition clips is predicting a 50 percent jump in sales this year and says business has never been better.

Observers say the Capitol Hill debate on gun-control legislation is not the sole cause of the current brisk business among firearms dealers. Two other factors are also at work.

First is the rash of lawsuits cities are filing against the industry -- which, if successful, could also dry up supplies. Second is the approach of the year 2000. Those who are worried that widespread malfunctions of computers will occur and lead to social chaos are stocking up on weapons for personal protection.

Source: Paul M. Barrett, "Industry Under Siege, Threats of Regulation -- and a Surge in Sales," Wall Street Journal, June 8, 1999.


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