The incoming administration’s plans to take a stronger stand on gun control policy has spooked consumers into buying more guns and is helping push sales to record levels, reports Forbes. At a store in California, a shipment of 192 Glock 19s sold out in a week, 9mm rounds are so popular that purchases have to be rationed to 100 rounds per day, and AR-15s are flying off the shelves. The rush to purchase weapons and ammo comes with the knowledge that President-elect Joe Biden seeks to ban assault rifles for the civilian market and also high-capacity magazines, which can hold more than 10 rounds, and which are already banned in California. When Biden is inaugurated, Democrats will finally have the edge, with an evenly split Senate and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris as the tie-breaker.
A tougher gun policy in the new administration could also spell trouble for the gun industry’s profits. Biden wants to repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, passed under the President George W. Bush administration in 2005 to shield gun makers from wrongful death lawsuits. The damage from opening the industry to liability for crimes resulting from its firearms could be financially catastrophic. Gun sales rose to record levels last year because of the coronavirus pandemic, civil unrest and the specter of gun control. The Federal Bureau of Investigation said background checks rose 40 percent to a record 39.7 million in 2020. Americans are buying guns for self-protection amid a heightened state of fear, including 8.4 million first-time buyers in 2020.