Gun sales in Virginia drop by 15 percent in 2014 following 3 years of growth

bug


We also have more stories about:
(click the phrases to see a list)

Organizations:

Subjects:

Places:

 


RICHMOND, Virginia — Gun sales in Virginia have declined for the first time since 2010.

Virginia State Police recorded background checks for 405,838 gun transactions in 2014, a 15 percent decline from 479,253 transactions in 2013, The Richmond Times-Dispatch (http://bit.ly/1w0WiTt) reported.

The decline followed three years' of growth. Gun sales logged by state police increased by 16 percent in 2011, 35 percent in 2012 and 11 percent in 2013.

The checks provide a rough estimate of the number of guns sold because some customers buy multiple firearms.

"It's not surprising," said Thomas R. Baker, a criminologist and assistant professor at Virginia Commonwealth University's L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs. "There have been no highly sensationalized public events of firearm violence and no knee-jerk reactionary calls for increased gun control as a response. The drop in sales should be considered in that context."

The spike in sales in 2013 followed the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, and politicians' subsequent calls for increased gun control, Baker told the newspaper.

Most of the 2013 sales occurred in the first six months of the year. Sales during the same period in 2014 dropped by more than 25 percent, while there was a 3 percent decline in the second half of the year, compared to 2013, he said.

"So it seems that after the rush on guns following fears over (gun) control died down, gun sales normalized," Baker said.

State police began doing criminal background checks in late 1989.

Mark Tosh, president of Town Gun Shop Inc., said 2013 was "an extreme — it was off the grid."

"Everybody could have sold more if they had more. The sky was the limit," he told the newspaper.

Tosh said people ran out of money" after panic-buying multiple firearms in 2013 due to fears of increased government restrictions after Sandy Hook.

"It's definitely a case of having future demand accelerated," said Steve Satterwhite, chief executive officer of Colonial Shooting Academy in Henrico County and Virginia Beach. "In 2013, what people normally would have bought in future years, they bought in 2013."

State police began doing criminal background checks in late 1989.


Information from: Richmond Times-Dispatch, http://www.timesdispatch.com

All content copyright ©2015 Daily Journal, a division of Home News Enterprises unless otherwise noted.
All rights reserved. Click here to read our privacy policy.