Yes, This is a Clue We Have New Gun Owners

By Rob Morse large gun shop

Slow Facts
Slow Facts

Louisiana- (Ammoland.com)- Some California gun shops reported sales were up by over 400 percent the last several weeks.  Other shops described a change in the type of customers entering their stores.  An unusual number were new customers.  They estimated 30 to 40 percent of their customers were first time gun buyers.  These new gun buyers were also different in another important way.  They did not want to buy their gun and put it on a shelf “just in case”.  These recent gun buyers immediately asked about firearms training.  I imagine, but could not confirm, that gun shops with a shooting range and classrooms saw a larger surge in sales compared to the shops who did not.

These customers wanted a gun for serious self-defense, and they wanted it now.

I wondered if this reaction was unique to California in general and to the area near the recent muslim terrorist attack in San Bernardino in particular.  What is the first thing a shopper would do if they were not familiar with firearms?

Here is the relative frequency of google searches for the term gun shop.  Note that the search rate is quite high today, but the trend has been growing for the last month.  The rate has not reached the frequency we saw after the Sandy Hook murders and when Barack Obama was elected for a second term at the end of 2012 and the start of 2013.  Not yet.

gun shop
GUN SHOP

 

Now look at the search frequency for the terms gun shop near me.  The searches were not uniform across the country.  They were stronger in Texas and California.  That is consistent with the recent muslim attacks in those states. 

GUN SHOP NEAR ME
GUN SHOP NEAR ME

 

Here is the trend line for the term shooting range near me.  That trend looks similar.  People typing in that search term were more widely spread across the country.

TREND LINE OF SHOOTING RANGE NEAR ME
TREND LINE OF SHOOTING RANGE NEAR ME
MAP OF SHOOTING RANGE NEAR ME
MAP OF SHOOTING RANGE NEAR ME

 

Now that a potential firearms owner has found a gun shop, he might search for a handgun safety course.  There was a recent increase in the number of people looking for firearms training.  The interest is close to what we saw in at the end of 2012 and the start of 2013.

handgun safety course
HANDGUN SAFETY COURSE

 

A new gun owner would also look for information about concealed carry licenses.  Wouldn’t you know it, but the rate of those searches has set an all time high.  This is consistent with new firearms owners looking for a place to buy their firearm, get training, and get their carry permits.

ccl
CONCEALED CARRY LICENSE

I have only one thing to say to these new gun owners.

Welcome to the gun culture.

 

~_~_

About Rob Morse: Rob writes about gun rights at Ammoland, at Clash Daily and on his SlowFacts blog. He co-hosts the Polite Society Podcast. He is also an NRA pistol instructor and combat handgun competitor.

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TEX
TEX
5 years ago

This is fantastic. It makes the entire industry stronger.Join the NRA too !

Benjamin
Benjamin
5 years ago

… except that here is a chart of the popularity of the term “near me”:

https://www.google.com/trends/explore#q=near%20me&cmpt=q&tz=Etc%2FGMT%2B8

It’s gone through the roof, for all “near me” searches. Here’s a comparison of “gun stores near me” with “pet stores near me” and “coffee shops near me”:

https://www.google.com/trends/explore#q=coffee%20shops%20near%20me%2C%20gun%20stores%20near%20me%2C%20pet%20stores%20near%20me&cmpt=q&tz=Etc%2FGMT%2B8

Coffee shops and pet stores are actually doing way better than gun stores by this metric — but I don’t think that it’s because people are drinking five times as much coffee or are deciding to get a half-dozen puppies. People are just doing “near me” searches with increasing frequency.

HP
HP
5 years ago

@Robert Cosenza Here in NY, it varies from county to county on how easy or hard it is to get “full carry”. With the exception of NYC, which seems to be an entity unto itself which completely ignores the U.S. Constitution, many counties will at the very least issue a permit with restrictions. This limits the gun to use in the home and at the range, but usually doesn’t allow concealed carry. I am guessing that a lot of the judges that have the final say on permits do this as a “cover your rear” type thing. As if the… Read more »

thomas
thomas
5 years ago

I wouldn’t say Obama is the world’s best gun salesman but i would definitely say that he’s a damn good wake up call. Most of these new gun owners were undecided, standing on the thin line between should i or not. With all that’s been going on those thousands of peoples are finally joining the right side the one of freedom and i have to say with the help of our herm! President who’s bringing terror into out walls. Undecided peoples understand that we have to prepare ourselves if they don’t want to be victims. When your back is against… Read more »

Aardvark
Aardvark
5 years ago

“I have only one thing to say to these new gun owners. Welcome to the gun culture.”
I would expand that to include “and join a gun rights organization or your brand new purchase may become illegal before you have a chance to warm up the barrel.”

Jerry French
Jerry French
5 years ago

Obama is the best gun salesman I can imagine.

robert cosenza
robert cosenza
5 years ago

a serious question if we the people,our the real government,then how do states like chicago new york and new jersey to name a few get away with,there practice of making it very hard to get a full carry permit..with there may issue and practices like that.should,nt it be if a legal american taxpaying citizen wants a firearm.then where do they get off with these acts.some states like ny where i live say you have to have a need such as carrying large amounts of money or jewelry etc or being a business owner.who and what gives them the right.isn,t that… Read more »

Shawn Alexandre Grammont
Shawn Alexandre Grammont
5 years ago

Welcome to America. The only country in world where we all have the right to keep and bear arms.

BLAMMO
BLAMMO
5 years ago

Welcome to the armed citizenry.

The more the merrier. The more we are, the freer we are.