Chicago Violence Fuels Gun Sales Surge, Despite National Dip
City's failure to contain crime, gang activity driving regional spike in firearms ownership
The demand for guns in the violence-wracked Chicago area continues to increase despite a national dip in firearms sales.
During the waning years of the Obama presidency, fear that the president or a Democratic successor would move to drastically impede Second Amendment rights to gun ownership fueled a huge boom in gun sales.
The number of concealed carry licenses in Chicago increased by over 255 percent in two years.
Since the election of President Trump, however, the demand for firearms across the country — including in Illinois — has dipped. In April, Fox News reported a 17 percent drop in nationwide firearm sales since last year.
The Chicago Tribune reported Monday that gun demand is down statewide in Illinois.
“In Illinois last year, officials performed about 1.9 million background checks, a big jump from 1.2 million in 2015,” reported the Tribune, “but the numbers dropped following the election, and are down 16 percent the first four months of this year.”
But while demand for guns is declining nationwide, it is surging in blood-drenched Chicago.
“In Chicago specifically … the number of firearm owner identification applications doubled from about 19,600 in 2014 to nearly 39,000 last year, according to Illinois State Police, and is on pace to surpass that this year,” reported the Tribune.
In 2014, when concealed carry was legalized in the city, there were 8,600 licenses granted. That number swelled to 22,000 in 2016 and “the pace also appears to be accelerating,” the Tribune said.
That means the number of concealed carry licenses in Chicago increased by over 255 percent in two years. Of course, the steady increase of interest in concealed carry permits comes hand in hand with a steady increase in crime and violence in the Windy City.
In 2014, there were approximately 460 homicides. The following year there were roughly 500. In 2016, the number of homicides reached about 800. So far this year, Chicago has seen 215 homicides.