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In the first quarter of this year, 9,227 people applied for a license to carry in the county, and 8,802 were issued. The high number of applicants continued into the second quarter despite the drop in PICS transactions as 9,267 people applied and 8,745 were issued.

“The [license to carry] applications have increased in 2021, and that could be for a variety of reasons,” Allegheny County chief deputy sheriff Kevin Kraus said. “At times of a pandemic we notice a spike in numbers — as we did with COVID. In relation to 2021, anytime that there’s a transition of power in the White House we tend to see a spike in applicants, and anytime there’s a mass shooting or any type of disaster, it seems to spike the numbers. Almost all of the licenses to carry we issue are for self-defense issues. There’s a box on the application and almost all check off self-defense.”

Chief deputy sheriff Kraus did not have an explanation for the sudden drop in (Pennsylvania Instant Check System) transactions.

An owner at one of Allegheny County’s 139 licensed firearms dealers, Smoke N Guns in Oakmont, has noticed the difference and attributes the spike and sudden drop to “panic buying” during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sales have “gone down to basically what it was prior to the pandemic. Typically these months are a little bit slower, but last year, it wasn’t. .. People were just buying and buying — new gun owners coming in saying ‘I need something for my house. I’m afraid of what’s going on.’ I’m not seeing as many new gun owners now,” Greg “Gooch” Ionadi, a co-owner of Smoke N Guns, said.

— Joe Stratos in State’s instant firearm background check system sees drop in applications for first time in nearly a year

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69 COMMENTS

  1. Peak gun?
    Neither my F15 nor my tactical nukes were delivered yet. So unfortunately i have not reached peak gun.

  2. All this really means is there are only a half dozen or so folks in America that don’t have a gun. Or 3.

    ‘Gun ownership is on the decline in America’ is how the fascist left will spin this.

    • True story. Last night my wife and I connected with friends we’ve known for years, but haven’t seen in person since the COVID lockdowns started. In 2019, during an impromptu discussion about guns among the men (a bunch of us were at our friends’ house), the husband enjoyed the conversation but said he wasn’t much into guns…only had his grandpa’s old 1911 somewhere in a closet.

      Fast forward to today, and I was astonished that the husband went thru his own “awakening” after last year’s dumpster fire (scamdemic, Democrat panic, mostly peaceful protests, et al) and bought his first handgun. Actually, not just one handgun. A few. Then he proudly pulled out an AK-47 and said “you know that invitation to the desert you gave me a couple of years ago? When are we going?”

      Peak guns, maybe. I myself have enough now, methinks. But peak ammo? We always need a lot more of that nowadays.

      • Reality bites. There’s nothing like having yourself, your home and family threatened by mobs to get one’s attention. In my more-or-less upscale neighborhood, more than a few formally liberal-no-gun households are now quietly armed. This is a totally new demographic. It’ll be interesting to see how this all plays out politically. I can say that when I wear one of my NRA hats people’s comments are much more complementary.

      • ‘iT WaS a ScAmDeMIc’, writes the coward who cited his parents being infected with the Wuhan sniffles as the reason for failing to answer President Trump’s call to action on 1/6 Freedom Day. You can’t make this shit up…

        • When others move forward, A True Patriot remains behind to call attention to events they chose to ignore. His devotion to the minutia of yesterday is legendary. Heed, one and all, his reprimands and castigations.

          All Hail!

  3. Time for Dealers to stop the price-gouging.

    Midway-USA, about 3 weeks back, had a nice selection of European WW2 Surplus M1 Carbines going in the $900 to $1400 range……Sold out within 30 minutes……….

    A day later, GunBroker loaded up with about 2-Dozen of the M1 Carbines………$2,900 was the cheapest………F*****g price-gouging swine.

    • Price gouging swine or rubes that will pay whatever price is asked? If they sell for $2900 maybe that’s the price Midway should have been asking.

    • GunBroker is individuals and dealers…sort of like the NRA…GunBroker sells no guns…they offer a platform for others to do so.
      Like folks using bots to by PS5s for retail and then doubling or tripling the price…supply and demand…nobody is forced to buy. free market. capitalism.

      • Free market absolutism doesn’t make the world a better place. We don’t promote capitalism because it’s an ideology. We promote it so that we can live in a better country. When things happen to make your country worse, then it’s worth examining why without adhering to some strict ideology.

        • “Gouging” is a term applied to items or services you require in order to live, such as food, gasoline, or utilities. Buying a firearm that’s generally viewed as a novelty (as nice as it is and as much as I’d like to have one) is not a life-sustaining necessity.

          Capitalism works. If you think a certain price is too high for a certain firearm, then simply don’t buy it. You’ll likely end up looking at another firearm within your desired price range and buy that one instead. The brook of capitalism will continue to flow downstream, even when you move a stone from one place in the water to another.

        • Haz, I wasn’t even referring to this specific topic of overpriced guns. I’m talking about this ideology which is free market absolutism. There is never a cookie cutter solution to every problem, yet followers of this ideology will defend unrestricted capitalism no matter the situation. This is the same ideology which has been used as an excuse to completely gut the middle class in this country.

        • Ok. Gotcha. Maybe I misunderstood your earlier comment.

          On a local scale, I believe in free market absolutism. On a macro scale, I support Anti-Trust laws to break up monopolies when free market capitalism results in a particular corporation becoming so big that it squashes competition, often through its influence on lawmakers to allow it.

          Examples are “Ma Bell” back in the 1980s, Microsoft in the 1990s, and Big Tech (Google/YouTube, Facebook, Amazon/AWS) today.

        • Gouging doesn’t really exist. What appear to be unreasonably high prices are a market allocation mechanism to guide scarce resources to where they are needed the most.

          For example, a family in NY or NJ (old, fuzzy memory) some years back had 2 children on home ventilators, machines that breathe for them because they cannot breathe for themselves. The vents had batteries for mobile use and for backup. The family had a generator. That hurricane (I always forget their names) hit and power was out for a long time. Gas prices were going up but this family was happy to pay them even though others weren’t. Then the state legislated that prices had to be kept at pre hurricane levels. Guess what? Gas sold out. You couldn’t find any at all in a large area. The home health company that supplied the family with respiratory supplies put the word out. Several healthcare workers not licensed to practice in whichever state this was loaded up a ton of 5 gallon gas cans and made a series of supply runs for the family until power and gas came back.

          Or so I hear.

          If prices had been allowed to rise only those who really needed the gas would have paid them.

          Same with ammo. I have several friends who got their first guns last year and they paid 4x for ammo what I was paying in 2019. i wasn’t going to pay those prices. But I had enough to load all of my magazines and still have hundreds of rounds of each caliber. Sure I couldn’t go to the range like I used to. But I wasn’t bereft of ammo. But my friends would not have had ammo if the price was still $10-$15/box because guys like us here would have bought it all every time it appeared instead of waiting for the prices to come back down.

        • “What appear to be unreasonably high prices are a market allocation mechanism to guide scarce resources to where they are needed the most.”

          That wasn’t what I was referring to. In general I completely agree with that. Sometimes, if “price gouging” didn’t exist, then it might not be worth the effort to sell the goods which would hurt the people that need those goods.

        • Haz, you need to look into that stuff more. Government is what creates monopolies. Also look into regulatory capture.

          If you truly have a free market there is no bar to entry and that makes monopoly impossible.

          Microsoft was not broken up and never had a monopoly. The government crusade against it ended when Microsoft bought more lobbyists than Sun had.

          The stories you were told about robber barons and anti trust were propaganda and mythology.

        • Sorry Dude, I was responding to Haz.

          But I am a free market absolutist. I prefer the term free market instead of capitalist because much of what is touted as “capitalism” today is bad old fashioned mercantilism, and bears little or no resemblance to an actual free market. I also don’t believe that government is capable of doing anything good ever. Every government interference only causes more problems, makes existing problems worse and provides more opportunities for corruption. Which is why I am a free market absolutist.

        • “Government is what creates monopolies.”

          Big Business is in love with Big Government. Remember when the Parler app had a sudden surge of popularity, and Big Tech colluded to cancel them because they owned the infrastructure and didn’t want any competition? It took Parler months to come back, but they had completely lost their momentum. Why haven’t people been arrested for that? Things that make you go hmm…

          We need certain types of regulation. The problem we have is that the regulators are corrupt, unethical degenerates.

        • The regulators always were and always will be corrupt degenerates. That is what any such system attracts and empowers. Any time of regulation by a 3rd party with a monopoly of force will be corrupted. We really don’t need any more regulation than And ye harm none, do as ye will.

        • “Every government interference only causes more problems, makes existing problems worse and provides more opportunities for corruption. Which is why I am a free market absolutist.”

          Absolutely we are in trouble right now due to the government creating more problems than they’re solving. They created the current inflation and unemployment problem, and they’re doubling down on stupid with the endless money printing.

          However, it is a threat to every American citizen when a tiny group of people attain too much power. Without silly rules, maybe that wouldn’t have happened in the first place, but we’re now at that point. Foreign countries take advantage of our free market. Maybe we shouldn’t let China buy up all of our industries. Maybe we shouldn’t let one person own most of our farmland. At some point, this becomes a major national security threat.

        • Guys, guys…read what I wrote once more. I stated:

          “On a macro scale, I support Anti-Trust laws to break up monopolies when free market capitalism results in a particular corporation becoming so big that it squashes competition, often through its influence on lawmakers to allow it.

          I think we’re all saying the same general thing here.

        • …and the Feds most certainly did file antitrust lawsuits against Microsoft in the ’90s over Gates’ attempt to squash competition in the web browser arena. Anyone remember Netscape Navigator? I myself used it and considered it to be (for that early generation) superior to Internet Explorer, but Windows updates began automatically defaulting your chosen browser back to IE and made it very difficult to use a competing product.

          https://corporatefinanceinstitute.com/resources/knowledge/strategy/microsoft-antitrust-case/

        • Haz, from your link;
          “The ruling was challenged by Microsoft, and an appeals court overturned the ruling.”

        • Haz, how exactly are anti trust laws supposed to break up a monopoly when the company in question has influence over the law makers who write the anti trust laws?

        • Dude, who was it that supported Mao, and hung Chang Kai Shek out to dry? The U.S. government, of course. Who was it who sought to buy loads of cheap products made by Chinese slave labor? Americans. Who was it that regulated American industry into oblivion allowing the Chinese to take over entire industries and move them to mainland China because they could do whatever they wanted? The US government. Americans built the Chinese monster. We should not be too surprised when it tries to eat us. I don’t think we can take much more government help.

        • We’re just going around in circles now, Crimson. You’re not seeing the point(s) I made above.

          I stated that large corporations weasel their way into the machinations of government and use their influence with lawmakers to get their way. I don’t see how this is being questioned.

          You then said Microsoft never had a monopoly. I very much beg to differ, as the Fed Guv certain saw it that way and actually filed suit, winning its initial case. It was an appellate court that reversed it, not the Feds, and not the original judge.

          We seem to be speaking different languages to express the same general things here.

    • We sold a boat load of USGI M1 carbine mags and Federal ammo to a trusted friend who owns 3 carbines two were acquired from yours truly. The proceeds went to Sar9s, ARs and a shotgun because we already had the ammo to feed them.

      Prices have reached a point that motivates buyers to wait until the buyers with deep pockets come and go and the price drops so those who pinch pennies can begin buying.

      And now that GunBroker collects taxes it is not helping matters when buyers have an FFL to pay and shipping to pay and for some credit card fees to pay. A PAY PAY PAY format is no magnet for repeat customers and declines numbers.

      Of course Gun Owners have always been a group to step up and knock down or go around all sorts of barriers and at least that hasn’t changed and won’t change.

  4. Panic buying due to the pandemic lasted all of a couple of months. After that, it was because of the Democrat-promoted Summer of Fire and Destruction. Then it was election uncertainty. Then it was due to the person currently residing in the White House.

  5. Riots around the country started it IMO. Everyone wanted protection in the form of a firearm.
    I made my 1st firearm purchase last month since November of 2019 and there was barely any ammunition. I didn’t visit a gun store in all of 2020.
    I saw people come into the store and want to buy a firearm but because of the lack of ammunition, they didn’t purchase one. Some did and while I purchased a pistol, another individual purchased an AR at a price I’d never pay. He asked about ammunition and was told they didn’t have any. Still bought the AR even though he said he had no ammunition for it.
    Now we have a President who is spouting gun control and that makes people panic even more. Demand is greater than supply.

    • It’s just things are currently kinda stalled out in the Senate so everyone is waiting to see. Not for lack of trying, the Dem house has passed or loaded up tons of terrible bills but so far the filibuster log jam is keeping most of the full out crazy at bay.

      If the Dems figure out a way to break through that or end the filibuster and bring a new AWB or registration to a winning vote… Panic buying will be full steam ahead!

  6. Well I haven’t quit “demanding” new guns. My LGS has a sale running of several guns I want. The lowest prices I’ve seen in nearly 2 years(Black friday 2019). And at least in Indiana the shop’s are jammed with people…my ambition is to be a “superowner”😏

    • It’s never enough for you clingers is it?

      Excuse me, I have more millions to make.

  7. “Almost all of the licenses to carry we issue are for self-defense issues. There’s a box on the application and almost all check off self-defense.”

    It doesn’t matter what box you check. The Pennsylvania License To Carry Firearms is the same regardless of the box checked and conveys the same legal privileges; that you can carry a “firearm” as defined in state law (a handgun) anywhere not prohibited, concealed, in a vehicle, in a city of the first class (Philadelphia), and during a declared state of emergency. You can also be loaned a “firearm”.

    You can carry in a car
    You can carry in a bar
    And it surely isn’t silly
    That you can carry while in Philly
    Carry almost anywhere you go
    even when it rains or snows

    • What is this license to carry you speak of?

      (Snicker)

      But Seriously Folks, I used to have one of those before Idaho became more enlightened. And no, crime has not gone through the roof.

      I may still get one (or two) just so I can carry in neighboring states. Just haven’t gotten off my ass to get them.

      • Constitutional carry was up in PA state senate judiciary committee recently. After assuring GOA and many others that it would be sent to the floor and brought up for a vote the RINOs stabbed us in the back and let it die in committee. That is what we have to deal with here in PA. But Chris T in KY will be along to tell me what assholes the Libertarians are.

        You can OC on foot with no license, but it’s a long walk to Philly to visit the in-laws.

  8. Thought We had all the guns We (Needed) Ha Ha. Now the Mrs. has her eye on a either a Ruger LCP Max .380 or S&W .380 EZ. As for me. I can always enjoy a new firearm and No you can never have enough or to many.

  9. When the ammo shelves are full and just sitting there waiting. then I’ll be happy.
    Going targ shooting later, I’m taking a bullet , one shot , not much thrill.

  10. rest assured
    “just like churning milk produces butter
    and twisting the nose produces blood”
    everythings going to get crazy again in the run up to the midterms next year
    because most folks have come to the realization that 2022 is our last chance to vote our way out of whats coming:
    persecution
    pogroms
    trains
    camps

    • I doubt will make it that long. And even if we do it does not matter. The Democrats have now literally unlimited numbers of people that don’t exist to vote for them to make sure they will never lose again.

  11. The second amendment only allows you to own a musket, aka the gun of the time of the constitution signing. Anything more powerful is simply a bonus that your President Biden and Madam Vice President Harris can take away at any time.

    • The Second Amendment doesn’t “allow ” anything, it FORBIDS something… a constitutional lesson is long overdue.

    • Let’s extend that logic to the First Amendment.

      You have the ability to speak and publish freely…as long as you use only feather-quill pens, bottled India ink, and hand-cranked letter presses to print one sheet at a time.

      Those are the tools that were available when the Constitution was written, and that is all it protects. All other publishing methods — high-speed printing presses, computers, radio, video/TV, and digital media of any kind — are mere bonuses that the government can take away at any time.

      Whoever is impersonating David Hogg, thank you for this opportunity.

  12. I thought I was at peak gun, but I was wrong….

    Once the prices drop back a bit more, it will be time to buy more ammo; there never seems to be enough, it is almost like the stuff just evaporates! Does anyone else have that problem?

    • I can’t fire more than one firearm at a time, run out of ammo for it most likely won’t have ammo for the other 30 or 40. A firearm without ammo is nothing but a club.

    • If it comes to it, and you can use the gun you own and have ammo for it then you can pick up any gun you might want. Of course that would depend on how invincible you are. The problem with a war the other side is trying to kill you too. Do not stock pile arms and ammo to hand out to your neighbors. Let them get their own, or not.

  13. I found a good deal on a firearm over the 4th. Figured I would help boost some numbers since I dropped out from the gun a month club years ago. Would reinstate my membership but the deals are far and few between, besides not seeing anything I want on the market right now.

  14. Two firearms is my peak. Shotgun and a pistol. I just don’t have enough ammo. Less than 200 rounds per firearm. We need more ammo. (My F15 is low on gas and my nukes can’t leave the silo because I have a weak internet connection.) Uncle Joe says resistance to a totalitarian government is futile because the US Military will wipe the resistance out. Like it did in Grenada and The Republic of Panama and the Iraq Military. Civilian militias (guerrillas): No air power, no artillery, no sea power, no tanks and fought The Vaulted US Military to a stand still. Of course there will be no “rules of engagement” against US Citizens. The Democrat Party, organized crime, party of slavery, just expanding it’s boundaries. Different time, same goals.

  15. I mean, “peak” as in no more sold. Of course not. If “peak” means the most sold in a one month period on record? Yes, at least for a long time. As more people are in the country, likely some day we will have some new peak. NICS checks show that. I am sure its a combo of the civil unrest and pandemic are receding significantly. Things are settling down after the election with a couple dem senators not looking likely to flip on gun control legislation. Stimulus money for most folks has been spent or is just going to sit in accounts by now.

    So I am not surprised it leveled off and dropped the last couple of months. It’ll take some major events to cause it to pick back up again. Relaxing prices will probably help sales stay higher, but with prices (on most guns) still 20-30% over what they’d been and ammo still about 50-150% higher that’s going to depress purchases from a lot of people. I know I am waiting it out. I’ve got enough ammo and reloading supplies for now. I’ve got 0 interest in adding a new caliber in the current market. I am also not terribly interested in buying more guns at inflated prices. Especially when the writing on the wall says prices are going to come down and availability up in the next while. If there were any guns I NEEDED, I’d sure go out in buy them.

    Of course if my Stimulus 45 can clears NFA jail way sooner than I think it will, then I might just have to get a threaded 357 lever gun, inflated prices or no inflated prices. At that point, I need it.

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