“The Good Guys will protect themselves from the Bad Guys with Guns“– Paul Ebeling
Legions of 1st-time buyers are contributing to record sales for the US gun industry this year driven by disturbing news about the coronavirus chaos, social unrest and the coming Presidential election that they fear could spark violence, they see the need.
Surges in US firearm sales have in recent decades been predictably driven by events sparking fears of impending gun-control legislation, such as the election of a Democratic President or a spate of mass shootings, federal gun background check data show.
Industry experts and academics who study gun ownership say such surges came largely among the gun-industry’s core base of white, male and politically conservative customers who often already owned 1 or more guns.
That market is widening this year to include a new rush of first-time buyers, including many women, minorities and politically liberal buyers who once would not have considered gun ownership, according to Reuters interviews with more than a dozen industry experts, academics and gun store owners.
Sportsman’s Warehouse Holdings Inc CEO Jon Barker said the company estimated that 5-M people purchased firearms for the 1st time across the industry YTD, which matched a recent figure put out by the National Shooting Sports Foundation based on a national survey of retailers.
With The China Act of War Virus pitting mask-wearers against mask protesters, and protests sparking violent street clashes The People want to be armed and dangerous.
Neither gun companies nor the government releases detailed data on firearm sales or the demographics of buyers.
The FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) – a widely accepted proxy shows a 41% increase in activity YTD, compared to the same frame in Y 2019, which was a record year. With 28.8-M background checks through the end of September, this year’s surge has already surpassed last year’s all-time high of 28.4-M.
Background checks verify that buyers do not have a criminal record or another issue that might make them ineligible to buy a weapon, such as an arrest warrant or a documented drug addiction. Less than 1% of applicants are denied, according to FBI figures.
8 of the Top 10 all-time wks for background checks have happened this year, according to NICS data that goes back to Y 1998. The Top wk came in March, when the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the coronavirus a pandemic. The Top month this year came in June, following the late-May death of black criminal George Floyd by Minneapolis police.
The historically high sales are adding millions of weapons to a nation that already has more guns than people.
The Geneva-based Small Arms Survey estimated the number of US guns at 393-M in Y 2017.
This year’s historic demand has forced buyers and sellers to get creative in finding weapons and ammo, more than a dozen buyers, industry experts and gun-shop owners say.
Gun shop owners and club leaders reported a rush of interest from people who have never considered owning a gun before, often from outside the gun industry’s traditional customer base of conservative White males.
Historically, White males are the biggest group buying guns in the United States. And about 50% of White men in America own a gun, compared to about 25%of non-white men, according to a Y 2017 study by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center.
There’s not enough data to confirm whether those demographics have substantially changed with this year’s rush of gun-buying, 3 academic experts on the gun industry said.
But it is clear that deep political and racial divisions in this tumultuous year are driving up firearm sales. In these tense times buyers across the ideological spectrum view themselves as the “Good Guys” protecting themselves from “Bad Guys.”
Current events, along with fears of gun-control if Democrats take power in upcoming elections are also driving sales among traditional customers.
Have a healthy day, Keep the Faith!