A new report examines internet search patterns to track public interest in gun buying after the tragic school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.
Researchers from Lawsuit.org found Google keyword searches related to purchasing guns erupted after the Robb Elementary School shooting that left 19 children and two teachers dead on May 24. Shortly after, the Biden administration talked tough on guns and threatened new restrictive measures on buying, which drove internet searches even higher.
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“Predictably, public tragedies spark fear of new or better enforced gun laws, which then impacts demand for guns,” Lawsuit’s Kristin Tynski wrote in the report.
Search data was pulled from May 1 to June 14. US gun-related internet searches were low-volume (blue) before the school shooting. Immediately after, the country turned red, meaning high search volumes. This shows that the shooting most likely caused another gun-buying panic as many fear the Biden administration will clamp down on AR-15-style rifles.
Daily search volume shows “AR-15,” “Buy a Gun,” and “Gun Store” experienced significant spikes in activity after the shooting.
Daily Search Volume for “AR-15”
AR-15 searches before the shooting hovered at about 8,000 weekly searches. Immediately after the shooting, that figure spiked to 43,000 searches per week, maintaining volumes in the 30k-50k per week range since.
Daily Search Volume for “Buy a Gun”
“Gun Store” searches before the shooting hovered at about 18,000 weekly searches. Immediately after the shooting, that figure spiked to nearly 80,000 searches per week, dropping off quickly, but still maintaining search volumes of 35,000-50,000 weekly searches since.
Daily Search Volume for “Gun Store”
“Buy a Gun” searches before the shooting hovered at about 52,000 weekly searches. Immediately after the shooting, that figure spiked to 74,000 searches per week in the week after the shooting, and maintaining significant or even growing slightly since.
Americans are panic-searching what to buy, how to buy, and where to buy a gun because Democratic lawmakers are threatening massive new taxes, up to 1,000%, which would mean only people with lots of money could afford it.
“With the political debate about changing gun laws to make it more difficult to buy a gun, many Americans are looking to buy one ahead of any new laws that emerge,” Tynski said.
Separately, we noted how internet search trends for bulletproof backpacks soared after the school shooting.
With every big push for gun control on a state and federal level, there will always be panic buying among the American populace.