A Michigan gun shop owner told Breitbart News that Black Lives Matter-related riots in Grand Rapids back in May brought a flood of single mothers into her store seeking to protect their children.
Lisa Mayo owns Flashpoint Firearms in Comstock Park, Michigan, just a few miles north of Grand Rapids.
She said her biggest sales day occurred after rioting in downtown Grand Rapids the night after a George Floyd protest took place. WOOD TV reported that the Grand Rapids Police Department headquarters was tagged with expletives. Storefront windows were smashed. Properties were destroyed. Police cruisers were torched. An estimated $2.4 million in damage was done, according to Mlive.
Mayo said her new customers “were scared” after the riots in May. “There was a lot of single mothers that were coming in, never would have believed in their whole entire life that they would own a firearm, and they came to my store and said they need to protect themselves, but more importantly, their children.”
Mayo said a “significant portion” of her customers are from the city of Grand Rapids and poor.
“They’re fearing for their lives, and their budget is around that $200-$350 price range,” she said.
Mayo said that any new tax or regulatory expense imposed on gun ownership, like some of the gun control measures Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is proposing, “would put them out of the market. I think that is very unwise because those people are probably the top people that need to protect themselves,” she said.
Taxpayers pay “a lot of money” so elected officials can have Secret Service protection, she said.
“Why don’t we have the right to be able to defend ourselves. Common, middle class people don’t have enough money to pay for a bodyguard, so the next best thing is for us to be able to protect ourselves. It’s everyone’s right to own a firearm,” Mayo said.
Ed Swadish, owner of Huron Valley Guns in Oakland County’s New Hudson, told Breitbart News that the “lawlessness and destruction of property” in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests drove increases in sales.
“That just sets people up for wanting to protect themselves,” he said.
Breitbart News previously reported that Biden’s proposed gun policy includes a plan to register so-called “assault weapons” like the AR-15s under the National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA), which means these gun owners could be required to register their AR-15s with federal authorities, submit their fingerprints and photographs, potentially submit to an FBI background check, and pay a $200 federal tax on AR-15s they already own, if these owners decide not to participate in any proposed federal buy back program.
Moreover, Biden’s proposal could also apply the same $200 tax and NFA registration requirements to every so-called “high-capacity” magazine a gun owner possesses, if the owner decides not to participate in any proposed buy back program.
The $200 tax on AR-15 rifles alone would impose a collective $3.6 billion in new taxes on the estimated 18 million privately owned AR-15 rifles in the United States.
Biden’s proposed policy does not define how many rounds a “high-capacity” magazine contains, but past gun control legislation like the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban defined it as a capacity of over 10 rounds. Biden himself has criticized the existence of “magazines that can hold multiple bullets in them.”
“Those taxes are so draconian, they would just never happen in a million years. Nobody’s paying those taxes, guaranteed,” Swadish predicted.
“Even if they put it on the retailer, that just means they’re not buying guns from retail anymore,” he added, warning there would be a “gray market” created where owners would buy AR-15 rifles back and forth.
Swadish also argued such taxes would be unconstitutional.
“Their intent is to rile up their base and get more votes and they know the things they’ve mentioned will never happen,” he said.
Swadish argued President Trump is “our best chance at maintaining our Second Amendment rights,” and predicted Democrats would “definitely come and try to take our guns.”
Kyle Olson is a reporter for Breitbart News. He is also host of “The Kyle Olson Show,” syndicated on Michigan radio stations on Saturdays. Listen to segments on YouTube or download full podcast episodes. Follow him on Twitter, like him on Facebook, and follow him on Parler.