Gun Sales Are Skyrocketing In These States

According to research released by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) this month, gun sales have skyrocketed in places where legislation restricting Second Amendment rights has been enacted.

In the wake of a seemingly continuous string of horrific shootings across the country, Oregon is poised to become the latest state to enact stronger gun control laws. The Louisiana House of Representatives just passed a gun control package that outlaws the sale of “ghost guns” (homemade firearms without serial numbers) and raises the minimum age to purchase most firearms to 21. 

After passing “assault weapons” prohibitions this year, Washington and Illinois witnessed significant increases in NICS checks, according to NSSF Director of Public Affairs Mark Oliva.

Background checks for April sales in Washington state increased to 71,272 from 49,641 in April 2022, a 43.6% increase, according to Oliva. The governor just passed a bill prohibiting the sale or transfer of AR-style rifles.

In Illinois, where the industry organization recently won a federal court ruling to block a ban on contemporary sports rifles, membership in the association has increased.

Now, data released by the FBI on Tuesday suggests that word of the law making its way through state government may have spurred a rise in gun sales in the state. 

The significant increase in background checks has driven some states, like Oregon, to the top of the list for apparent gun sales per population. As a result of increased gun sales in the double-digit percentage range, Oregon’s neighbors, Idaho and Washington, have joined Oregon as the U.S. states with the highest rates of background checks by the percentage of the population.

Even while some state governors and lawmakers are adopting radical measures to infringe on the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding residents to possess firearms, the surge “shows that there continues to be a steady appetite for lawful firearm ownership,” Oliva added.

More background checks were launched in states that scored lower on gun restrictions, but this may have less to do with effective enforcement and more with the high volume of firearms purchases in those states.