Virginia Democrats’ efforts to tighten gun control measures have been a boon for firearms sales, according to one gun store owner in the state.
Jerry Rapp, owner of SpecDive Tactical in Alexandria, said in an interview published Thursday by the Washington Examiner that the last time he saw something similar, Barack Obama was in office.
“This is the largest Christmas and November, December that we’ve had, basically, since Trump has come on board. The only other person that was a better salesman right now is when we had President Obama,” Rapp told the news outlet.
According to Rapp, sales of ammunition and firearms are up by 200 percent.
“Every time [Obama] turned around he was going to ban something or make something illegal. But even that isn’t even close to the amount of sales we’re selling right now of magazines, of guns, of every kind of gun from pistol, rifle, shotguns, to AR platforms” and ammunition, Rapp said. “We can’t keep it in stock.”
SpecDive Tactical’s sales spike echoes a similar phenomenon experienced by a gun store in Iowa earlier this year.
Mr. Guns, a store and gun range located in Waterloo, told a local news station in September that Beto O’Rourke’s outspoken gun control advocacy was driving customers to the establishment in droves.
Virginia gun control
Virginia Democrats, who in November seized control of both houses of the state’s legislature for the first time in more than two decades, made gun control laws a focus of their campaigns.
Democrats’ electoral triumph sparked concerns about increased restrictions on firearms possession, which the state’s pro-gun advocates say infringe on their Second Amendment rights.
Several proposals, including an “assault weapons” ban backed by Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam, prompted outrage in a wide swathe of rural localities across the state.
Democrats announced earlier this month they were amending the pending ban on “assault weapons” in the face of political pressure.
An early draft of the bill would have made it a felony to possess any firearm defined as an “assault weapon.” Gun rights groups were particularly concerned by the lack of an exception for those who already possess such weapons.
The move to confiscate guns faced immense grassroots opposition in the state, which has seen an overwhelming majority of its counties declare themselves “Second Amendment sanctuaries.”
One southwestern Virginia county went even further, passing a resolution authorizing funding for the formation of a well-regulated militia.