In the wake of a mass shooting spate that began in late March, gun sales have risen sharply, especially among women, CNN reports.
Mike Marinello, owner of South Shore Sportsman gun store and South Shore Shooting Range on Long Island, New York, said he sees women of all political affiliations taking steps to protect themselves.
“A rather large slice of our current clientele is female,” Marinello told CNN. “We sponsor a shooting group for women … Right now there is no clear (line) — Republican or Democrat or Independent — buying guns.”
Marinello, a former housing cop in the Bronx, said gun sales after mass shootings are driven by concerns that politicians will move to create more restrictions on gun ownership.
“In the immediate aftermath in most states, it would lead to an increase in sales because everybody looks at the news and even though it’s a terrible event, they all say the same thing: ‘There’s going to be a new law,’” he said.
A two-year study by Harvard researcher Deborah Azrael, Dr. Matt Miller, a professor of health sciences and epidemiology at Northeastern University, found that 7.5 million people, or nearly 3% of U.S. adults, purchased a gun for the first time between January 2019 and April 2021.
“The face of gun ownership is changing somewhat and the people who are becoming new gun owners today are less likely to be male and more likely to be non-white, more likely to be somewhat younger than existing and long-standing gun owners,” Miller told CNN.
For Jenn and Shelby, work friends who did not want their last names used, an afternoon of target practice at Marinello’s shooting range served as a way to hone their skills and also served as a test drive for a potential purchase.
Jenn told CNN she lives alone, so she wants a gun “probably for safety mostly, but I do enjoy coming to the range and shooting. I’ve been wanting to buy one for years.”
Shelby said “fear of the unknown and the chaos of the pandemic” were the motivating factors that led her to purchase her two rifles during the COVID-19 public health crisis. She’s currently working on her handgun permit paperwork.
A spate of shootings in recent weeks have rocked the country and made national headlines.
Ralph Yarl, 16, rang the doorbell at the wrong Kansas City, Missouri, address around 10 p.m. on April 13 and was shot in the head and arm on the doorstep. The teen, who survived the incident, had been attempting to pick up his younger siblings when the shooting occurred.
On April 15, Kaylin Gillis, 20, was shot and killed after the group she was traveling with mistakenly pulled into the wrong driveway in Hebron, New York. The group had been attempting to turn the vehicle around when Gillis was shot.
Five people were killed on April 10 when Connor Sturgeon, 25, opened fire at the Louisville, Kentucky, bank where he worked, while livestreaming the attack on Instagram, authorities said.
Elizabeth Hale, 28, who identified as a transgender male, killed three children and three adults at The Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee, on March 27. Hale had previously attended the Christian elementary school.
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