Surge In Gun Purchases

Repeal gun control laws that leave us defenseless against evil terrorists.

WASHINGTON, DC -- With sales of guns soaring and support for the Second Amendment peaking after the September 11 terrorist attacks, it's time for politicians to start repealing burdensome gun laws, the Libertarian Party said today.

"More Americans are beginning to realize that the Second Amendment is not some fossilized remnant of a frontier nation, but a practical solution to the 21st century problem of terrorism," said the party's national director, Steve Dasbach.

"Now, it's time for politicians to acknowledge this change in attitude, as well as the new reality of the terrorism threat, and immediately start repealing laws that prohibit law-abiding Americans from buying and carrying firearms to protect themselves and their families."

Over the past month, a number of news stories and polls have revealed a stunning increase in gun purchases and an unprecedented groundswell of support for gun rights. According to media reports:

  • There has been "a surge in gun sales" following September 11, reported the Washington Post (October 2, 2001), with applications to buy handguns in Virginia doubling the week after the attack, and background checks for handguns, rifles, and shotguns up by 32%.
  • 45% more Americans "value Second Amendment rights" than before the terrorist attacks, according to an NRA poll reported in U.S. News & World Report (November 5, 2001).
  • In Colorado, background checks for concealed carry permits jumped 172% from August to October, according to the Rocky Mountain News (October 30, 2001).
  • In Connecticut, 41% more people bought guns in September 2001 than in the same month last year, according to the Associated Press (October 2, 2001).
  • Women across the country are signing up for gun safety courses in record numbers, according to NBC's Today Show (October 10, 2001), with sales of guns to women increasing by 60%.
  • In California, gun sales surged 42%, reported CBS Morning News (October 2, 2001).

There is an obvious explanation for such figures, said Dasbach.

"Americans have begun to realize, following the September 11 tragedy, that government and police cannot keep them safe from every danger," he said. "There is simply no way the government can protect 280 million Americans from stealthy terrorists or even garden-variety criminals.

"Americans have begun to understand that they must take personal responsibility for their own safety. That's why we're seeing such a surge in gun sales -- especially to vulnerable demographic groups, like women."

Unfortunately, noted Dasbach, there are over 21,000 local, state, and federal laws that limit the right of Americans to purchase or carry guns -- leaving millions of individuals still at risk.

"September 11 was a wake-up call to America that we are vulnerable to terrorists," he said. "Now, politicians need to wake up, and start repealing the 21,000 gun control laws they passed over the last few decades. It is unconscionable that old-fashioned gun laws and anti-gun politicians can prevent Americans from protecting themselves and their families from murderous terrorists.

"Those laws are a shameful legacy of a government that not only could not protect Americans -- but actually has made it more difficult for Americans to protect themselves. In light of September 11, that must change."

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For release: October 31, 2001

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