Fears, law changes drive gun-sale fluctuations

WASHINGTON — Beginning after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012, handgun sales in Connecticut steadily increased, then skyrocketed in the months ahead of the 2016 presidential race. Common threads, gun experts say, were heightened fears about safety and, in the case of some gun enthusiasts, worries about losing access to guns altogether, under a Democratic president. “It has a lot to do with fear,” said David Chipman, a senior policy adviser at Giffords Law Center. “It’s not just to do with public office, it’s almost the fear, the unknown, the anticipation of who’s going to be in office.” After the 2012 shooting, gun sales in Connecticut rose from 63,500 to 69,000 in 2013 before taking off during the presidential race, according to data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Between 2014 and 2015 — about the time presidential hopefuls were announcing their candidacy — handgun sales spiked from 78,600 to 123,500, according to FBI data. Jonathan Perloe, the director of communications at CT Against Gun Violence, said fluctuations in the number of gun sales are two-pronged. He said people are often inclined to buy guns after a mass shooting, like Sandy Hook, because there’s a perception of a more dangerous world and the need for protection. Decline after election But a misperception that gun-control proponents like Hillary Clinton would take away Second Amendment rights with stricter gun laws also prompts more gun purchases, Perloe said. “There has been a narrative from the gun lobby that the (legislators) […]

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