Gun sales smashed records this year with about 21 million guns sold in 2020, and with those sales the subsequent FBI background check statistics smashed all previous records.
As December began, the sales records were already more than 73 percent higher than this time last year, and with one more month of numbers to add to the ledgers, it seems clear that 2020 will see a 75 percent increase in sales over 2019.
ABC News recently quoted figures from The Trace which estimated 21 million guns were sold as a result of a “perfect storm” consisting of “the pandemic, economic recession, civil unrest and a divisive presidential election.”
Meanwhile, last month was the busiest November on record for FBI background checks for new gun purchases, according to the Bureau’s month-by-month data. Background checks were up 40% from last November, with over 3.6 million checks performed.
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The National Instant Criminal Background Check System reported that four months this year (and December’s numbers are not yet in) exceeded three million background checks each. This is remarkable because up until 2020, only ONE month ever exceeded three million background check requests; that was December of 2015.
According to the FBI, two months almost topped four million checks. June came in with 3,931,607 total checks, and March saw 3,740,688 checks. Further, both January and November saw more checks during those months than any in NICS history.
Many of these gun buyers are first-time owners, too.
In June, the National Shooting Sports Foundation said that gun retailers estimated 40% of their sales during the first four months of the year went to first-time gun owners, and nearly half of those were women
“The main purchase driver among the group was personal protection, followed by target shooting and hunting,” the group said.
ABC News found one young woman who became a first-time gun buyer this year. She said the constant stream of riots sent her to re-think her anti-gun stance.
“I’ve never owned a gun. I’ve never wanted a gun. I’ve never had a gun in my home,” mother of three named Trish Beaudet said.
“It really bothers me when I watched things on the news, when you talk about the riots, and the looting, and the violence that’s happening. Pulling a gun is the last thing I ever want to do, but I want to know that if I need to protect myself, my family, my, you know, my children, that I can do that,” she added.
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