Published January 15, 2013
With the anniversary of the massacre in Newtown hitting a one-month anniversary and as Washington mulls gun control legislation, Second Amendment advocates are buying weapons in droves – including Latinos.
With Vice President Joseph Biden set to deliver his recommendations for gun control legislation to President Obama, people in states with large populations of gun rights advocates are taking action.
“There’s an image floating around the Internet naming Barack Obama firearms salesman of the year,” said Raúl Mas Canosa, a conservative political commentator. “No one has done more for the sales of firearms and magazines than Barack Obama.”
He added: “People are extremely concerned and expressing themselves with their pocketbook.”
But defense attorney Randy Zelin believes President Obama has nothing to do with it.
"It’s no different than any other market. It’s supply and demand," said Zelin."If everyone would strip themselves with partisan politics, how could you possible quarrel with arguing against gun control with the tragedies that have happened?"
In the five states with the largest population of Latinos in the country, the volume of firearm owners based on background checks by the FBI have increased dramatically. Gun rights advocates feel the tide turning against them – so they’d rather stock up now while they still can.
According to the FBI, there were 968,071 firearm owners who had background checks in 2010 performed in Texas – jumping to 1.1 million this year.
California, Florida and Illinois have had increases of around 300,000 from 2010 to 2012. And New York increased by close to 100,000.
Bill Titus, A member of the board of directors for the Texas Concealed Handgun Association, thinks the reason for the spike in gun sales is a safety issue.
“People have increasingly understood the need to protect themselves and their families,” said Titus.
Asked whether or not there was a different reason that Latino and other members carry guns, Titus didn’t really believe that was the case.
“Basically the same issues we get with everyone else,” he said. “Concerns for safety, increases in crime.”
Those for gun control think it's a bigger issue.
"Things have to evolve and the reality is on a gun control discussion there are certain kind of guns that a citizen doesn’t need to have.," said Zelin.
But a recent Gallup poll released Monday shows that 49 percent of non-white minorities are calling for gun policies to get stricter. That's a 17 percent increase from a Gallup released last year among non-whites. Gallup could not provide a Hispanic breakout number.
While the poll shows that the majority of minorities are on the liberal side of the issue, conservatives are still trying to wrap their heads around why.
“I think part of it is misfounded,” said Mas Canosa. “It is perceived that firearms are used to suppress minorities but in reality guns are the great equalizer.”
Follow Victor Garcia on Twitter @MrVicGarcia.