Gun Sales Top 27 Million: Every State Ranked

Gun Sales Top 27 Million: Every State Ranked

The Federal Bureau of Investigation tracks gun sales and publishes a list of how many are handled as part of its National Instant Criminal Background Check System. Each month, the figures are reported by state. Nearly everyone put through this system qualifies as a buyer. People who are excluded usually have criminal records. Of the more than 400,540,500 checks that have been done since November 1998, there have only been 4 million denials. Therefore, the data is the best proxy for U.S. gun sales available. Sales have risen most years since 1999 (the first year checks were made for all 12 months). In that year, sales numbered 9,183,123. Last year the figure reached 39,695,315, up from 28,369,750 in 2019. The huge rise has been attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, growing civil unrest may have prompted people to buy guns for personal and family protection, many social scientists have posited, although this remains a matter of debate. Another theory is that chaos brought on by the pandemic was a major cause. A UC Davis School of Medicine study about fear of violence reports: “The coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated persistent structural, economic, and social inequities in the conditions that contribute to violence and its consequences.” The New York Times points out that pandemic gun sales are largely over. While people who already own guns have been buying more, there is a new group of buyers. “New preliminary data from Northeastern University and the Harvard Injury Control Research Center show that […]

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