Gays, Lesbians Buy More Guns After Orlando Shooting

REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski

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Amber Randall Civil Rights Reporter

After the Orlando shooting at Pulse nightclub on Sunday morning, gun store owners are seeing a rise in gun purchases from transgender, lesbian and gay people.

Gun sales usually rise after mass shootings; gun shop owners saw gun sales skyrocket after the Sandy Hook shooting and the Aurora theater shooting. FBI statistics, which use background checks as a measure for gun purchases, showed that after the Sandy Hook shooting, gun purchases in Connecticut went from the monthly average of 18 18,932 to 29,246 in December.

Now, firearms salesmen are seeing more gun sales to the LGBTQ community, reports KDVR. Mike Smith, a firearms instructor in Colorado Springs, told KDVR that he has been tracking how many guns LGBTQ people have purchased since the Orlando shooting.

“I think right now because of what happened, people are looking for answers, Smith told KDVR. “You walk into a gun shop and you expect to see people, frankly, who look like me. I think we forget we’re a country of all people, not just people who fit that predetermined mold.”

Other gun shop owners are noticing the rise in firearms purchases after the Orlando shooting.

Robbie Motes, owner of The Amories, told NBC News, “We typically open at 10 a.m. We were all here at 8 and people started pulling in at around 9. Today is probably triple a normal day.”

The Pink Pistols, a group that works to legally and safely teach firearm self defense to LGBTQ people, saw a rise in their membership numbers. On Sunday it had 1,500 members and by Monday membership was up to 3,500. More Pink Pistol chapters are being created throughout the country. Smith is starting one in the Colorado Springs area.

“I look at it as a disenfranchised minority that needs someone who’s willing to say I’m a resource who’s here and willing to help,” Smith said to KDVR.


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