US Gun Sales Hit Record Highs in 2020 Amid COVID-19, Civil Unrest

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So far in 2020 — a year marred by the global coronavirus pandemic and widespread civil unrest — Americans have bought more guns than ever before, according to new research.

From January through September, Americans have purchased a record 16.7 million firearms, data reported by Small Arms Analytics and Forecasting shows. Jurgen Brauer, chief economist of the firm, said that total exceeds the previous annual high set in 2016 — the year of the last presidential election — when 16.6 million guns were sold.

Firearm sales are up by 66 percent as compared to September 2019 to September 2020, according to the research firm, which makes estimates based on raw data taken from the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

The increases in gun sales in August and September of this year, however, are the lowest since March of this year — when the deadly COVID-19 pandemic worsened in the US, prompting lockdowns. “Handgun sales continue to comfortably outpace long-gun sales,” Brauer said.

The uptick in gun sales for 2020 was largely driven by first-time gun buyers, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a trade association for the firearms industry. The association concluded that roughly 5 million Americans purchased a firearm for the very first time in the first seven months of 2020, equating to 40 percent of sales.

NSSF surveys revealed that 58 percent of firearm purchases were among African American men and women, the largest increase of any demographic group. Women also made up 40 percent of first-time gun purchases, the association found.

Source: NY Post; Image: Chicago Tribune

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