Less than a week after the school shooting in Newtown, Conn. that claimed the lives of 26 people, including 20 young children, conservative and liberal news sources are reporting that gun sales across the country have soared. Another item selling at record numbers is children’s body armor.
The Colorado Bureau of Investigation is reporting a record 4,154 background checks submitted on Saturday alone.
Also seeing record sales is Utah-based company “Amendment II”, which sells bullet-proof backpacks and body armor for children. In an interview with Salt Lake City’s FOX 13, Amendment II’s C.O., Rich Brand emphasized that the company’s main market was “preppers”, but that in the aftermath of the Newtown shootings, sales of children’s body armor has sky-rocketed. “At this point, it’s transcended to everyone”, Brand told FOX 13. “Anyone who’s sending out a child into the world, seeing what can happen now, they want to protect their children.”
The backpacks retail from $150-300. The company has had so much demand, it has overloaded their website. While it may seem odd, or even sad, that a product like this exists, there is no doubt that there is certainly a market for it.
The record gun sales come as many liberal politicians propose major overhauls to gun-control legislation, including outright bans of certain gun models. Gun retailers believe the spike in gun sales is partially associated with the reactionary gun control rhetoric coming predominately from liberals since the shooting.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) has promised to introduce a bill next month that would ban assault weapons.
“Normally what happens – and I’ve been doing this for 30 years – is whenever they start talking about gun control on the news and they start pushing that, people have a tendency to think they’re going to take away their right to buy the gun, and that usually spurs sales,” Paul Decker, a Virginia gun shop owner, told the Christian Science Monitor this summer after the Colorado theater shooting.
President Obama spoke Sunday night at a vigil for the victims of the Newtown shootings, and implied that he was focusing on a tightening of gun-control laws.
“We can’t tolerate this anymore. These tragedies must end. And to end them, we must change. We will be told that the causes of such violence are complex, and that is true. No single law — no set of laws can eliminate evil from the world, or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society. But that can’t be an excuse for inaction,” the President said. “In the coming weeks, I will use whatever power this office holds to engage my fellow citizens — from law enforcement to mental health professionals to parents and educators — in an effort aimed at preventing more tragedies like this.”
Many Americans believe that the President is implying not just tougher gun laws, but perhaps an outright ban on assault weapons, such as the AR-15, which the Newtown shooter used in his attack. That could explain the surge in gun purchases through Monday, especially in the AR-15 model. The previous assault weapons ban was enacted in 1994, and lasted for ten years until congress allowed it to expire in 2004.
Although Obama himself has not proposed a specific gun control law, on Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said the President would support a plan like Feinstein’s that would renew the assault weapons ban. Wednesday afternoon, Obama held a press conference, at which he announced the creation of a new interagency task force that would focus on studying and proposing new gun control and mental health laws. However, he did not talk about specific gun control laws at the press conference, leaving the decision to pursue new national gun control legislation to Congress.