The Las Vegas gun store Westside Armory is predicting a Hillary Clinton victory in November, and it has a message for customers: Buy now, because things are going to get expensive.
In an advertisement over the weekend in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Westside Armory said it was holding a “Pre-Hillary Sale” on tactical rifles, warning of a price surge if the Democratic nominee wins the presidential election next month.
“Don’t wait!” the advertisement reads. “Prices will skyrocket after Crooked Hillary gets in.”
The words appear alongside a picture of a Smith & Wesson M&P Sport II, a semiautomatic tactical rifle that Westside Armory advertises for $700. The Smith & Wesson website says the rifle is used for hunting, recreational shooting and “home protection.”
The ad was tweeted out Sunday by Jon Ralston, a political commentator with KTNV and well-known political pundit in Nevada, and had garnered more than 1,700 retweets by Monday morning.
A representative from Westside Armory was not immediately available for comment.
The reference to “Crooked Hillary” — Donald Trump’s nickname for Clinton — is a clear appeal to supporters of the Republican nominee, who has accused Clinton of wanting to “get rid of all the guns” and “essentially abolish the Second Amendment.”
Clinton has advocated no such thing. Like President Obama, she has proposed stepping up background checks and closing loopholes that allow guns to be sold online and at gun shows with few restrictions on who can buy them.
That has not stopped Trump, who has been endorsed by the National Rifle Association, from sweeping attacks. In August, he appeared to call on “Second Amendment people” to take action if Clinton wins the election and appoints judges who want to curtail gun rights. And last month, Trump said Clinton’s security detail should “disarm immediately” and “see what happens.”
Data on fluctuations in gun prices is hard to come by, but gun sales overall have surged in eight years of a Democratic administration, reaching record highs in 2015. Firearm sales spiked in 2008 after President Obama was elected, and again in 2012 when he was reelected. Firearm background checks have also tended to jump in the wake of mass shootings, as reported by The Washington Post.
Westside Armory was the subject of a Bloomberg News story earlier this year about the rise in U.S. gun sales. Westside Armory took in a record $190,000 in December 2015, the most in a single month since opening in 2014 — a figure consistent with national trends, Bloomberg reported.
In the article, store owner Cameron Hopkins lamented that “fear sells so many guns,” while defending an advertisement from the store that read: “Your home is your castle. Defend it against the barbarians.”
“In the end,” Hopkins said, “I guess I’m just a capitalist.”