By Beth Baumann, Alien Gear Holsters
In light of the recent San Bernardino terrorist attacks, many states are beginning to relax their restrictions on concealed carry weapons (CCWs). Because of this change in policy, in combination with the December tragedy, Americans are purchasing smaller guns that can be used as CCWs. The reason people are moving to smaller guns? It’s easier to store, conceal and find concealed carry holsters that don’t leave an imprint.
When the San Bernardino attack took place, I was working a couple freeway exits up from Inland Regional Hospital (IRC). I saw the community come together to support one another, but I also saw something completely different: a community that was fairly against guns – particularly CCWs – becoming suddenly fond of the idea of packing. It took the death of 14 people and a national tragedy to make an anti-gun community open their eyes to the possibility – and probability – of becoming law-abiding, concealed carrying citizens.
In the days and weeks after the horrific event took place, people began flocking to the county Sheriff’s office, requesting their own concealed carry permit. By late last month, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s office had a backlog of concealed carry permit requests; their CCW applications increased by nine-fold.
While fear has ignited the recent traffic increase the gun industry has seen, the reasoning for wanting to own a firearm remains the same: people want to know how to protect themselves should they need to in a self-defense type of situation.
When mass shootings take place, particularly on a college campus or in a public setting, the community is quick to jump on the bandwagon by demanding instant gun control. What that section of the population fails to understand is the deep conscious divide between a responsible gun owner and a criminal. Responsible gun owners make a conscious decision to make sure their firearm is properly locked and stowed when not in use. They go through extensive background checks and pay fees. Criminals, on the other hand, illegally obtain their weapons. They aren’t going through the same background checks as the average citizen and, chances are, they aren’t properly storing their firearms.
According to the National Rifle Association’s Instate for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA), statistics prove that people who have concealed carry permits are statistically more law-abiding than those members of the general public. Based on NRA-ILA’s findings, “Florida has issued over 2.7 million carry permits – the most of any state – and has had to revoke only 0.006 percent (six one-thousandths of one percent) of them because of firearm crimes by permit holders.”
Since President Obama has come into office, the number of concealed carry permit carriers has tripled from 4.6 million in 2007 to 12.9 million in 2015. Part of this phenomenon has to do with the threat of anti-gun policies and appointments, the most recent one being the nomination of Merrick Garland.
According to the FBI, so far, in January and February 2016 alone, over 1.6 million background checks have been completed for handguns. My guess? That trend is going to continue, particularly throughout the remainder of the 2016 presidential election. The reason? People are unsure of the direction our country is going in politically. The gun control narrative has people flocking to gun shops to stock up on firearms, ammo and tactical gear. The possibility of the federal government limiting our Second Amendment right – or eliminating it all together – is a fear that could eventually become a reality.
Another recent phenomenon that has led to panic buying: The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which aimed to move the United States towards greater energy independence by requiring consumers to switch from traditional incandescent light bulbs to energy efficient compact fluorescent bulbs. The fear of a drastic price increase made consumers anxious, in the same way that gun owners are anxious about the potential for an outright gun ban.
Until a new president is elected and his or her policies are vetted and implemented – or the Supreme Court takes up the issue of national reciprocity – Americans are going to continue to live in fear of losing their Second Amendment right. Instead of allowing the possibility of gun control to instill fear, we, as Americans, need to contact our Congressmen and women and make sure they know where we stand on the issue. They need to know that we, as gun owners, demand to have our Constitutional rights respected and defended. It’s time that the nation, as a whole, uses our voting rights to pick leaders who share our goals and values. A political leader who is willing to throw away our Second Amendment right is probably someone who is willing to also throw away our First Amendment right. Keep that in mind as the November election looms near.
Beth Baumann is outreach specialist for Alien Gear Holsters, a concealed carry holsters company. She is also a contributor to PolitiChicks and TheBlaze.
Please welcome Beth to the Daily Caller! Check here every Saturday for the CCW Weekend column.
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