A surge in gun sales following a national tragedy is common, unless you’re this New York journalist who thinks he got PTSD from firing an AR-15 at a gun range. A common first thought is to want to be able to protect yourself and your family.
Following the Orlando terror attack, the surge in gun buyers is bringing an entirely new set of buyers into the gun-owning fold – the LGBT community.
George Horne, owner of The Gun Room, Denver’s oldest firearms dealer, told reporters that business is booming at his store.
“For this time of year I’d say its three to four times what we normally have,” he said. “We’re not surprised by it.”
Background checks that just days ago took only minutes can now take hours. It’s a sales surge similar to what happened after Sandy Hook and the Aurora theater shootings.
As KDVR Reports:
However, what’s different this time around is the clientele. Mike Smith, a firearms instructor in Colorado Springs, is one of many closely tracking the sudden surge in gays and lesbians buying weapons.
“I think right now because of what happened, people are looking for answers,” he said. “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.”
The Pink Pistols is a national gun club for gays and lesbians. It saw its membership soar from about 1,500 members on Saturday to 3,500 on Monday.
Dozens of new chapters are springing up, including one Smith is creating in Colorado Springs. He said it’s something he feels compelled to do, even though he’s heterosexual.
Unfortunately, it took a tragedy to spark many into action, but that action has lead to an incredible surge in gun ownership.
The day after the terror attack, the Pink Pistols gained over 2,000 new active members. Considering the LGBT community makes up roughly 3.5% of the population, that’s an astronomical figure.
Now Mike Smith is opening a chapter of the organization in Colorado Springs, even though he’s heterosexual.
“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,” he said.