Gun Sales Surge Continues with Diverse Interest in Firearms

Gun Sales Surge Continues with Diverse Interest in Firearms

Strong gun sales continued in May, with FBI National Instant Criminal Background Check System data showing nearly 1.3 million background checks were conducted pursuant to firearms sales last month. Moreover, the FBI conducted a total of 3.2 million firearm-related background checks of all types – including checks for NICS exempt firearm permits that allow holders to purchase firearms without an additional background check for the next five years. The number of firearm sales checks represents the second-highest May on record, following only the massive firearm-buying surge experienced in May 2020. Since the surge in gun-buying began at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, those in the firearms industry and even the reluctant news media have made two important observations: (1) The increase in gun purchasing included many first-time gun buyers; (2) Those purchasing firearms did not conform to stereotypes about the “typical” American gun owner In February, firearm industry trade group the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) released data on the firearm sales increase based on a survey of Federal Firearm Licensees (gun dealers). A press release explained “NSSF estimates that 40 percent of those gun sales were for first-time gun buyers, totaling 8.4 million new gun owners in the United States in 2020.” The item went on to note, “Firearm ownership is also increasingly diverse as sales among women accounted for 40 percent of all sales, and purchases by African Americans increased by 56 percent compared to 2019. In the early months of the pandemic, the legacy press […]

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