Anticipation Of Stricter Gun Laws Causes Long Queues At Gun Shops Across The Country

While queuing for firearms and ammo is hardly a new phenomenon, Biden’s inauguration exacerbated the situation, causing long queues at gun shops. Gun owners lined up in California, Florida, Montana, Tennessee, Utah, and Virginia from as early as 2 am ahead of Biden’s inauguration, according to the DailyMail. The outlet reported that as many as 60 people lined up waiting for doors to open at one gunshop.


While ammunition has been rare to find, the situation worsened with the new rush to stock up in anticipation of stricter gun laws, including magazine limits and a possible green-tipped ammo ban.


Additionally, the high demand caused a spike in prices as gun shops were hit by supply shortages, especially the 9mm ammo, which is in high demand. A gun shop operator told Fox 35 that a box of 9mm that used to cost $14 currently costs sells at $37.99.

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Gunmakers also faced challenges keeping up with the high demand because of supply chain disruptions at the beginning of the covid-19 crisis. They, too, face possible hostile gun laws from the Biden administration, including the repeal of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA).


A reversal of the PLCAA would allow individuals to sue gun makers for crimes committed by third parties. This action would lead to the proliferation of frivolous lawsuits, bankrupting the firearm manufacturers and pushing them out of business.


Gun shop owners also reported that the demand for modern sporting rifles such as AR-15s was high. Biden promised to ban the sale, manufacture, or importation of “assault rifles” and “large capacity” (“LCM”) magazines. Owners would be required to register under the National Firearms Act (NFA) and pay a $200 tax.


The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) reported that about 20 million AR-15 style rifles and 150 million LCMs are currently circulating. Consequently, transferring them to the NFA would cost American gun owners about $34 billion.


Last year recorded historic firearm sales, with the FBI reporting 39.7 million background checks, the highest since the agency started collecting the data in 1998. Gun shop operators said they recorded a dramatic increase in firearm sales since the pandemic hit. Save for the lack of inventory, they say they would have recorded exponential increases in firearm and ammo sales.


Biden took a series of executive actions immediately after taking office, but none involved gun control. However, with Senate split in half, and Kamala Harris being the tiebreaker, and Democrats controlling the lower chamber, Biden could pursue a legislative process. Additionally, a small section of “gun sense” Republicans are likely to vote in favor of gun control.

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