IN THIS ISSUE:

1. Gun Sales Explode In 2020 – The Question Is, Why?

2. Racial Tensions Are Also Fueling Record Gun Sales

3. Americans Who Already Own Guns Are Buying More

4. 400 Million: More Guns Than People in the US Today

Overview

Gun sales in the US have gone through the roof in 2020, especially since the widespread protests turned violent last spring in many large cities across the US. Over three million more guns have been sold since March than occurred in the same period a year ago.

The question is, why have gun sales exploded this significantly in such a short time? We know, of course, that part of it is because protests around the country have turned violent, and people in these cities fear for their safety. We also know widening efforts to defund the police are making many Americans more nervous, again about their safety.

We also know this is an election year and, as always, there are fears that a Democratic victory would likely bring stricter gun control laws, or worse. For all these reasons and more, gun sales have exploded this year, and a record number of purchasers are first-time gun buyers.

With the election less than a month away, I think this topic deserves our attention, regardless whether you are a conservative or a liberal. Let’s jump in.

Gun Sales Explode In 2020 – The Question Is, Why?

When Americans are concerned about their personal security, they buy firearms. Typically, firearm sales spike following school shootings, terrorist attacks or when US presidents threaten to impose new gun control laws. But we have had none of that this year.

Instead, we’ve had the COVID-19 pandemic which began in March, followed by the killing of George Floyd in late May and non-stop social unrest and violent riots since then. Gun sales have skyrocketed this year to record levels.

Based on the number of background checks conducted by the FBI, firearms experts report that almost three million more firearms have been sold since March than would have ordinarily been sold during these months. Half of that increase occurred in June alone.

Chart showing spikes in firearm sales due to mass shootings and COVID

The 2020 spike in sales, however, is less about concerns regarding access to firearms, than personal safety. In March, concerns about personal safety arose from both a deadly new virus and an economy in free fall. By June, concerns about the virus and the economy remained, and were compounded by new evidence of racial injustice in policing, widespread protests/riots and discussions of defunding the police.