In this April 25, 2018 photo, a .9mm handgun produced by Honor Defense, a gunmaker in Gainesville, Ga., is displayed. In the wake of high-profile mass shootings, corporate America has been taking a stand against the firearms industry amid a lack of action by lawmakers on gun control. Payment processing firms are limiting transactions, Bank of America stopped providing financing to companies that make AR-style guns, and retailers like Walmart and Dick’s Sporting Goods imposed age restrictions on gun purchases. (AP Photo/Lisa Marie Pane)
I was chatting with a friend of mine recently and the topic of gun sales came up. My friend’s father owns a gun range near me and she said he’s seen a huge amount of liberals coming in to purchase weapons in recent weeks.
How does he know they’re liberals?
“They’re shocked to discover they can’t just walk out of the store with a gun.”
We’ve all heard about gun sales skyrocketing recently, but I hadn’t considered some of the tangential effects of the phenomenon until I spoke to my friend. Not only are many liberals suddenly learning to love their Second Amendment rights, many of them are finding out that the gun control narrative in this country — as repeated loudly and often by Hollywood and the mainstream media — is a complete lie.
So, I contacted my friend’s father to ask about what he is seeing personally at his own range these days. Gregg Bouslog runs On-Target Indoor Shooting Range in Laguna Niguel, CA. It’s where I taught my son to shoot and where I’ll teach my daughter once the chaos lifts. He says that while others are stuck at home while the economy grinds to a halt, he’s been working nonstop at the range as the applications for background checks and permits are stacking up daily. Bouslog claims he hasn’t done business like this since the days of Obama.
As the owner of an indoor shooting range and gun store here in California these past 14 years we have never experienced such a huge demand for firearms and ammunition – even higher than the famous Obama rush of 2012/2013.
While it’s nice to see some businesses flourishing in these scary times, Bouslog says that safety has been a huge issue at the range, as many first-time buyers seem to have gotten all of their notions about guns and gun safety from television.
We tried to look at just who the new firearm purchasers were and we believe that more than 60% of these individuals were first time buyers. I can’t describe the amount of fear in my staff as we had the buyers show proof of safe handling as part of the purchase process as required by law. You have never seen so many barrels pointed at sales staff and other customers. It was truly frightening. We had to keep stopping the process to give quick safety lessons. We are adding many more basic classes in the coming weeks and encouraged these buyers to please attend. We hope they do.
This isn’t hard to believe. As a gun-owner who formerly abhorred the Second Amendment, I can personally testify to the fact that most people who believe they are anti-gun are actually just anti-stupid. They just don’t realize they’re projecting their own stupidity onto law-abiding gun owners. They imagine that we gun owners are just a bunch of yahoos out here combing our mullets, waving our guns around to look sexy while we look for anything or anyone to shoot at any time. They have no respect for the power of a weapon and treat them accordingly, which is what Bouslog is witnessing firsthand at his range. We gun owners, of course, take safety, care and precautions quite seriously. These are ingrained in the culture of gun ownership.
While the safety of the employees at the range is a very serious matter, the most amusing and annoying part for the staff has been watching these first-time buyers discover just how stringent gun laws in California really are, including one of our newest laws requiring background checks before buying ammunition. Bouslog says it’s a bridge too far for the people who have been told their whole lives that it’s easier to get a gun than an abortion.
More than a dozen of these buyers (men and women) actually thought that since they filled out and signed everything, they could just walk out and go home with the firearm. Several actually said they saw how easy it was to buy a gun on TV and why did they have to fill out all these forms.
The majority of these first timers lost their minds when we went through the Ammo Law requirements. Most used language not normally heard, even in a gun range. We pointed out that since no one working here voted for these laws, then maybe they might know someone who did. And, maybe they should go back and talk to those people and tell them to re-think their position on firearms – we were trying to be nice.
Most were VERY vocal about why it takes 10 days minimum (sometimes longer if the DOJ is backed up) to take their property home with them. They ask why do I need to wait 10 days if I need the protection today or tomorrow? We pointed out again that no one working here voted in support of that law.
They really went crazy when we told them that for each firearm they had to do the same amount of paperwork and they could only purchase ONE handgun every 30 days. Again, we didn’t [vote] for that law.
We had people cuss at us and stomp out when we explained that secondary identification had to be part of the paperwork, as they felt insulted that what they had wasn’t good enough. We have a number of Yelp reviews calling us names and other things about how bad we are because of this whole new buyer rush
Again, I truly hope for the safety of those range employees in the face of so many uninformed and incurious first-time buyers. That being said, I find this whole situation fascinating. So many things in our economy and way of life are shifting monumentally these days. Could the gun control battle be one of them?
I discovered the idiocy of my anti-gun beliefs once I decided to learn about them firsthand. The Hollywood mystique immediately fell away and I was imbued with a new respect for weaponry and the people who dedicate their lives to weapons safety and serving and protecting the Second Amendment. You can’t know how bonkers our gun control laws are until you go try to buy one yourself.
There are a lot of people like me out there right now — first-timers and Second Amendment haters who feel like a hypocrite for wanting a gun for protection. Like I did, now they are navigating our convoluted gun laws for themselves and discovering that it is just not possible to walk into a store, buy a gun and leave with it in your pocket.
As these revelations begin to spread among our liberal brethren in the state of California, will we see a shift in gun laws and support for anti-Second Amendment legislators? Only time will tell, but it will surely be an interesting question to ponder in the coming months and years.
*Special thanks to Gregg Bouslog of On-Target Indoor Shooting Range in Laguna Niguel, CA for sharing his experience with us.