Virginia gun sales in 2020 soar past record: ‘It’s a year like no other’

Virginia gun sales in 2020 soar past record: ‘It’s a year like no other’

Gun sales (Photo by MICHELE EVE SANDBERG/AFP via Getty Images) RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Gun sales in Virginia this year have skyrocketed, breaking a record set in 2016 in just nine months. Data from the Virginia Firearms Transaction Center, which has tracked mandatory background checks on buyers since 1990, shows estimated firearm sales have spiked in 2020, a year rocked by the global pandemic and protests across the country. There have been 522,757 background checks in Virginia through September, surpassing the annual record in 2016 of 505,722. Gun sales have risen nationally, with statistics from the National Instant Criminal Background Check System showing an average of more than three million background checks from March through August. With no database tracking the total number of transactions, background checks provides the best way to measure gun sales in the country. The checks account for sales by federally-licensed gun dealers, not sales at gun shows or any other purchase made, and are done per customer, not per firearm. “I thought 2016 was the high-water mark, when we had 15.7 million checks. Now, we have 15.4 million, 300,000 checks behind,” said Mark Oliva, the director of public affairs for the National Shooting Sports Foundation. “We will certainly surpass that record. It’s a year like no other.” Background checks in Virginia in the first nine months of each year since 2015. In March , the month Virginia reported its first coronavirus case, a monthly record in the commonwealth was set after 80,228 checks were […]

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