After the massacre carried out by a radicalized Muslim at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, gun sales are surging among one particular demographic: the LGBT community.
"Gun shops typically see a spike in customers after mass shootings," reports a Denver Fox News affiliate. "But this time, many are seeing shoppers they’ve never really seen before: More gays and lesbians."
Fox cites gun store owner George Horne, "Denver's oldest firearms dealer," who said that he's seen gun sales spike "three to four times" what he usually sees around this time of year.
Though it's unsurprising, as Horne notes, with mass shooting often being followed by gun sale surges, what makes this different are the customers.
"I think right now because of what happened, people are looking for answers," said Mike Smith, a firearms instructor who is helping to create an LGBT gun club in Colorado Springs.
"You walk into a gun shop and you expect to see people, frankly, who look like me. I think we forget we’re a country of all people, not just people who fit that predetermined mold," said Smith.
"I look at it as a disenfranchised minority that needs someone who’s willing to say I’m a resource who’s here and willing to help,” he said concerning his help in establishing a gun club for gays and lesbians despite being heterosexual.
FOX 31 Denver notes that international LGBT gun club Pink Pistols saw it's membership numbers more than double in two days, from 1,500 on Saturday to 3,500 on Monday, with "dozens" of new chapters being establishing throughout the country.
In response to the Orlando attack, the organization's lead spokesperson, Gwendolyn Patton, warned against blaming guns for the actions of human beings.
"The Pink Pistols gives condolences to all family and friends of those killed and injured at Pulse," said Patton. "This is exactly the kind of heinous act that justifies our existence. At such a time of tragedy, let us not reach for the low-hanging fruit of blaming the killer’s guns. Let us stay focused on the fact that someone hated gay people so much they were ready to kill or injure so many. A human being did this. The human being’s tools are unimportant when compared to the bleakness of that person’s soul. I say again, GUNS did not do this. A human being did this, a dead human being. Our job now is not to demonize the man’s tools, but to condemn his acts and work to prevent such acts in the future."
The Pink Pistols describes itself as "an international organization dedicated to the legal, safe, and responsible use of firearms for self-defense of the sexual-minority community," with chapters in the U.S. and Canada.
"Though the Pink Pistols is for the GLBTQ community, it is not solely composed of the GLBTQ community, and all are welcome to join," the group explains.
Image above (AP): Nick Bazo and Stephen Flowers, originally from Orlando and now living in Boston, hold a photo of their friends Drew Leinonen and Juan Guerrero, who were both killed in the Orlando terror attack.