Last weekend was absolutely terrible for America, and particularly LGBTQ Americans. But it was great for firearms shops and gun manufacturers. Like, really great.
Gun sales in the country have skyrocketed since Sunday’s deadly shooting massacre at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando that left 49 dead and 53 injured. But this time, a brand new demographic is loading up on weapons and ammunition: Gays and lesbians.
“For this time of year I’d say its three to four times what we normally have,” George Horne, the owner of The Gun Room, Denver’s oldest firearms dealer, tells FOX 31-TV, adding that he’s “not surprised” by the spike in sales.
According to Vox, gun sales almost always surge after mass shootings.
“[Mass shootings] are an opportunity for gun manufacturers to sell more guns,” explains James Hardiman, an analyst who covers the firearm industry.
Hardiman adds that the political discourse only adds to the number of sales.
“On the left, you have Hillary Clinton talking about tighter gun restriction, which scares the gun people,” he says. “And on the right, you’ve got Donald Trump, who is contributing to the fear of Muslims and ISIS. Gun sales are being bolstered by rhetoric on both sides.”
FOX 31-TV also reports that The Pink Pistols, a national LGBTQ gun club, says its memberships more than double between Saturday and Monday, soaring from about 1,500 members to 3,500, with dozens of new chapters are springing up all over.
One of the people opening a chapter in Colorado Springs is Mike Smith, a heterosexual firearms instructor.
“Because of what happened, people are looking for answers,” he says. “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.”