August 2020 saw more gun sales than any other August on record as Americans continue to rush to gun stores at a record pace.
The Washington Free Beacon
Stephen Gutowski – SEPTEMBER 1, 2020
August 2020 saw more gun sales than any other August on record as Americans continue to rush to gun stores at a record pace.
A Washington Free Beacon analysis of FBI data released on Tuesday found a 57 percent increase in sales compared to August 2019. There were at least 1.6 million sales in August 2020. Only two previous Augusts had broken a million sales, though limitations in FBI reporting means that not every gun sale is captured in the data. August represents the sixth month in a row to set a new sales record with March seeing the most gun sales of any month in the history of the FBI background check system.
Sales thus far in 2020 have soared past previous years. Sales through the first eight months of the year are up 43 percent over the previous record.
“In 15 years of teaching firearm safety, I have never seen a higher level of interest in guns,” Rick Ector, a Detroit-based firearms instructor, told the Washington Free Beacon. “I do not need to advertise, and my phone is constantly ringing.”
A June report from the gun industry’s trade group indicated dealers believed 40 percent of buyers since March have been first-time owners. The group pegged the total number of new owners at just under five million. If the estimated percentage of new owners holds for August, that would mean at least 640,000 Americans bought a gun for the first time in August. The surge in firearm owners could have a significant impact on gun politics and American elections for years to come.
Ector said the sales are driven by concerns over the pandemic, the economic downturn, and recent rioting in places like Kenosha, Wisconsin, and Portland, Oregon. He expects the record sales to keep up through the end of the year, pointing to Democrat nominee Joe Biden’s strict new gun-control policies and his lead in national polling.
“Any single issue by itself would lead to an increase of people buying guns,” he said. “We have all four factors ‘in play’ and the run on guns is no surprise to me.”
The number of checks run through the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System is not a one-to-one representation of total gun sales, but is widely considered the best gauge because the checks are required on all sales done through licensed dealers. The Free Beacon removed checks from the count that were coded for gun-carry permits or other non-gun sales to reach the final sales numbers.
The Polk County Commission on Tuesday reversed
course from its Friday meeting and approved a resolution affirming its support
for gun rights, including language declaring the county a sanctuary.
BARTOW — Polk County is a Second Amendment sanctuary.
The Polk County Commission on Tuesday reversed course
from its Friday meeting and approved a resolution affirming its support for gun
rights, including language declaring the county a sanctuary.
The vote came after 12 people spoke out in favor of the
sanctuary measure. Several commissioners also indicated they received phone
calls and emails from gun-rights supporters over the weekend.
Although the commission could not take an official vote
during its Friday workshop, four commissioners clearly indicated they had
trouble with the sanctuary language while maintaining they supported Second
Amendment rights. Only Commissioner John Hall supported the entire resolution,
including the language declaring Polk a Second Amendment sanctuary.
That changed Tuesday as the commission initially voted
4-1 to approve the sanctuary resolution with Commissioner George Lindsey
opposing it. Later, Lindsey asked for a reconsideration of the resolution and
switched his vote to affirm the commission was unanimous in supporting the
Second Amendment, he said.
“I don’t want this to be a divisive issue,” Lindsey said.
Commission Chairman Bill Braswell said he changed his
mind because he hadn’t realized the word “sanctuary” was the label adopted by a
Second Amendment movement.
“The word ‘sanctuary’ to some of us wouldn’t be our first
choice,” he said. “When I hear ‘sanctuary,’ I think of ‘sanctuary city,’ and
Braswell was referring to the sanctuary city movement
asking local officials not to support some of President Donald Trump’s harsh
immigration and deportation policies.
Commissioner Rick Wilson agreed he reacted against the
word because of its association with immigration policies.
“I don’t like the word. I wish we could change it,” he
Yet Wilson and the other three commissioners declined to
support Lindsey’s proposal to substitute “pro-Second-Amendment county” for
“Second Amendment sanctuary.”
Before the first vote on the resolution, Lindsey said he
opposed including the sanctuary language because one historical definition of
the word is “immunity from the law.”
“That’s the part that bothers me,” he said. “I can’t do
that if there’s an implied immunity from the law.”
Lindsey pointed out he supports the Second Amendment as a
life member of the National Rifle Association, a handgun owner and holder of a
state concealed weapons permit. But immunity from the law “is not what we stand
for,” he said.
Several of the resolution supporters appeared motivated
by the so-called “red flag” law passed by the Florida Legislature following the
Feb. 14, 2018, shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.
That law allows local law enforcement to seek a temporary
court order, called a “risk protection order,” to seize firearms from persons
it believes might use them against themselves or the community. Law enforcement
can get an emergency order to seize weapons immediately followed by a final
order at a court hearing within 14 days.
The law was passed because the Parkland shooter and many
other perpetrators of mass shootings had shown behavioral signs of violence
before the incidents.
“Polk County has a Second Amendment problem,” said Royal
Brown III of Winter Haven, president of Winter Haven 912 Project, a gun rights
group. “We lead the state in the use of the unconstitutional risk protection
order, or RPO, which allows an ex parte seizure of firearms and ammunition
without prior notification, without the right to be represented by a public
defender and without due process based on a judge’s fear of what might happen
in the future. This also violates the legal precedent of being innocent until
Brown cited information from the Polk County Clerk of
Courts office, which The Ledger also obtained.
The statistics show Polk did lead the state in seeking
risk protection orders between March 2018 and October.
Polk sought 501 orders during that time followed by
Pinellas County with 429 cases and Broward County with 393 orders sought. Only
five other counties had more than 100 risk protection order cases during that
time, and the state total was 2,933 cases.
The Clerk of Courts also reported a total of 525 risk
protection cases filed in Polk from March 2018 through Nov. 20 with no
additional state data.
Among those Polk cases, 15 petitions were denied an
emergency order, or 3%. Among the 510 emergency protection orders granted, the
court denied a final order in 49 cases, or 10%.
“We ask you to declare Polk County a Second Amendment
sanctuary county and to be aware of the problems with the risk protection
order, including conducting oversight of the RPO process until such time as it
is challenged in the courts and declared unconstitutional or changed or deleted
from law by the Florida Legislature,” Brown said.
Other speakers made more general arguments that the
sanctuary language was needed to “send a message” to the Legislature and
Congress on passing further gun restrictions. Several speakers warned of a
looming socialist or communist threat to take away Second Amendment rights
“Florida came within 1% of becoming a socialist state,”
said Glynda White, a Winter Haven 912 member, referring to Republican Gov. Ron
DeSantis’ narrow victory margin over Democratic candidate Andrew Gillum.
“The gun grabbers are coming,” said Danny Krueger of Lake
Bob Grimes of Lakeland compared the gradual diminution of
gun rights to livestock being herded into a corral.
“What happens to sheep or cattle when they’re herded into
a corral? They’re headed to slaughter,” he said.
After the meeting, Braswell told The Ledger the
resolution was a symbolic affirmation of the Second Amendment because state law
prohibits local government from passing any legislation dealing with firearms.
For that reason, he doesn’t anticipate the commission acting on any gun-related legislation, Braswell said. “I don’t think we have any authority there,” he said. “This today was a symbolic proclamation.”
Polk County Commissioner John Hall wants to make the county a Second Amendment sanctuary, part of a nationwide movement against proposed restrictive gun laws.
BARTOW – The Polk County Commission will consider becoming a sanctuary county for gun rights under the Second Amendment.
The commission on Tuesday instructed County Attorney Michael Craig to research the relevant law and to present his findings at a future meeting. Craig told The Ledger after the meeting he expects to complete his research and present his findings to the commission at its Jan. 3 or Jan. 17 agenda review meeting.
Commissioner John Hall requested Craig look into a sanctuary measure because he feels Second Amendment rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution are threatened by recent efforts for tighter restrictions on gun possession and ownership. Those efforts appear to be gaining momentum recently after well publicized mass shootings in recent years.
“Every time a deranged person picks up a gun and kills people, those of us who are legal gun owners come under attack,” Hall told The Ledger after the meeting. “We should defend the rights of our citizens on all constitutional rights.”
Other commissioners agreed to have Craig research this issue with varying degrees of enthusiasm.
Chairman Bill Braswell said he didn’t know whether such a sanctuary measure is necessary but agreed to have the commission look at Craig’s findings. Commissioners Martha Santiago and Rick Wilson agreed.
“I think of this as political theater,” Commissioner George Lindsey said. “This seems to be a solution looking for a problem.”
The Second Amendment sanctuary movement appears to have gained momentum as a backlash against the movement for more restrictive gun laws.
In Virginia, for example, more than 40 local governments passed such measures after control of its legislature passed from Republicans to Democrats last month, according to a Dec. 11 story in USA Today. Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam has said he would support measures such as universal background checks for gun purchases, limits on the sale of certain types of firearms and a so-called “red flag” law allowing authorities to take guns from persons posing a danger to themselves or others, as determined by a court.
The various sanctuary measures adopted so far vary widely in scope and impact, according to internet research by The Ledger.
Some measures, such as a resolution passed by the Lake County Commission on Nov. 5, go no further than declaring the county a Second Amendment sanctuary and its support for those rights. The Ledger obtained a copy of that resolution.
Other measures go a step further and declare county officials will not cooperate with federal or state law enforcement authorities carrying out gun restrictions they consider unconstitutional.
That’s similar to the stance taken by some local governments over cooperating with federal officials enforcing immigration laws considered too harsh or illegal. That gave rise to the term “sanctuary city” or county.
Most Second Amendment sanctuary measures fall along these lines.
But a few, including some Virginia localities, declare their right to nullify any state or federal gun laws they consider unconstitutional, according to a Dec. 11 article on the news site Slate.com.
Hall told The Ledger he favored a nullification measure if the Legislature or Congress passed a gun law he considered unconstitutional.
He would not advocate nullifying a law found constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court, Hall said.
“The Supreme Court will be the ultimate decider of the Constitution,” he said.
Polk Sheriff Grady Judd said he was a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and advocates that citizens carry concealed weapons through the state’s licensing process.”
But he said he could not support a local law that instructed him to ignore state and federal gun laws.
“State and federal laws always supersede a county ordinance,” Judd told The Ledger. “What I would do as a law enforcement officer is enforce the laws of the state of Florida and the United States of America.”
Judd said he has reviewed dozens of Second Amendment sanctuary laws across the country and agreed they fall along the three categories outlined above.
Hall distinguished between Second Amendment and immigration sanctuary measures because the latter involved people breaking the law to enter and reside in the U.S., he said.
Sen. Kristen Gillibrand’s interview with CNN host Poppy Harlow, August 14, 2019
“I think we should ban assault weapons as well as large magazines. As part of passing that ban, do a buyback program across the country so that those who own them can be compensated for the money they spent,” Gillibrand said. “You don’t want people to retain [these firearms]. Because, if you make them illegal, you don’t want to grandfather in all the assault weapons that are all across America. You would like people to sell them back to the government.”
And then came the question of truth: what happens if people don’t freely give up their firearms? Poppy Harlow asked just that, positting if Gillibrand would support prosecute those who refuse to relinquish their firearms.
“So the point is, if you are arrested for using an assault weapon, you’re going to have an aggravated felony,” the embattled Democratic candidate said. “The whole point is when you make it a crime to own an assault weapon, then if you are found using it, that would be the issue. So it would just be part of your law enforcement in terms of what you have access to.”
Family Friendly Event
Proceeds go to fun youth shooting sports programs.
In-Gauge of Polk County is once again working in cooperation with theCentral Florida Ridge Friends of NRAin putting on its 23 Annual Dinner & Auction . . . .
This year’s event will take place Saturday, March 3rd at the Lake Eva Banquet Hall, Haines City, Florida, doors open at 6:00 PM. Advanced ticket sales only.No tickets will be sold at the door. Ticket price: $65 Admission includes catered, premium, steak dinner, participation in all games and auction.
This is a family friendly eventwhere kid are welcome and those under 12 eat for FREE. Free kid games will be available.
To obtain tickets, become a sponsor or further information contact . . .
All proceeds go to fund youth shooting sports programs, i.e., Boy Scouts of America, 4-H Clubs, Future Farms of America, Junior ROTC shooting programs.
Our youth is the future of America.
NRA, Friends of NRA, Polk County, Florida, Winter Haven, Lakeland, Central Florida, firearms, guns, shooting, events
ORLANDO, Fla. – As Hurricane Irma approaches land, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is encouraging gun owners to make sure they don’t become victims of post-storm looting.
“In the storms, we’ll go back to (Hurricane) Harvey, where again, people are taking advantage of the fact that there’s no on in the home,” ATF Special Agent Daryl McCrary said. “They’re going out, sometimes in the midst of the storm, or very soon after the storm, and they’re looting.”
Firearms are a particularly targeted item for looters, McCrary said.
“If you have firearms that are not secure in your residence, those firearms are going to be taken, and there’s a high probability those firearms are going to be used in crimes, in violent crimes, and we’re trying to prevent that,” he said.
Gun stores are also targeted by thieves during major storms, McCrary said.
“We know that in the past, during these storms, we know in Hurricane Harvey, individuals, nefarious criminals, took advantage of the storm and did go out and break into gun stores to steal guns,” he said. “And this also occurred last year during Hurricane Matthew.”
McCrary encouraged gun owners to make plans for securing their firearms now, in case they have to leave their home without much notice.
“We’re going to have people under mandatory evacuation that may have to leave their homes quickly,” he said. “We’re asking, and highly suggesting, that they have a firearms record, that is, that they can use their mobile phones to take a picture of that firearm, so that they would be able to identify it.”
If you are a victim of a firearms theft, you should notify ATF immediately at 202-648-7200 or 888-930-9275. Also, if possible email a completed ATF Form 3310.11 to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Florida residents who want to take their National Firearms Act (NFA) items with them if they evacuate can submit an ATF Form 5320.20 to email@example.com ATTENTION: Chuck HURRICANE IRMA (In the heading)
Florida residents evacuating by common carriers (airlines, railroad, bus) should make sure to notify the carrier of the firearm and have it stowed unloaded in checked baggage.
If you were not aware or in doubt, the following Florida law went into effect May 21, 2015 upon signing . . . .
Gov. Scott signs Florida emergency concealed carry bill
5/22/15 | by Chris Eger
It will now be legal for gun owners in the Sunshine State to temporarily carry concealed handguns without a permit during periods when the sun isn’t shining so bright.
Now law is a measure to allow law-abiding citizens without concealed carry licenses to bear arms during declared mandatory evacuations. A reboot of a failed 2014 bill that was killed in last minute political maneuvering, this session’s effort had an easier go of it after police lobby groups embraced the proposal. It passed the Republican-controlled Senate in an easy 29-10 vote while the House last month approved it by a 86-26 margin.
“As Hurricane Season approaches it’s critical that our rights are protected during natural disasters,” advised Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-Petersburg, in a statement. “With the signing of SB 290, all lawful gun owners will be permitted to carry a concealed weapon if they are complying with a mandatory evacuation during a state of emergency. I’m proud to have sponsored this bipartisan bill ensuring that we have the right to protect our families during these sometimes chaotic times.”
Brandes bill, SB 290, creates an exception to Florida’s prohibition against concealed carry of a weapon without a permit by allowing adults not otherwise prohibited from possessing a firearm to temporally do so while evacuating. The law allows for a 48-hour window that this would be allowed after the evacuation has been ordered. However, the governor can authorize an extension as needed.
Such evacuation orders occur frequently in the state, most often associated with hurricane threats. Florida, with hundreds of miles of coastline in the North Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico, is prone to severe hurricanes. Since 2000, no less than 63 tropical or subtropical cyclones have affected Florida, more than any other state.
Second Amendment advocates in the state refer to the new law as true common-sense gun legislation.
“This bill is a no-brainer, particularly in Florida with our hurricane exposure,” Marion Hammer, president of the Unified Sportsmen of Florida and past president of the National Rifle Association, told Guns.com Thursday. “When you’re ordered to evacuate — to take your kids, your dog and valuables and flee — the last thing you should leave behind is your gun.”
People have a responsibility to defend themselves and their family, “so taking firearms with you is not only your right, it is your responsibly,” said Hammer.
The law was effective Thursday at signing while the Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1.