The National Sports Shooting Foundation now estimates that gun sales are up nationwide by almost 72% compared to this time last year. The trade association also says that first-time gun buyers played a heavy role in the increase.
“Nearly 5 million Americans purchased a firearm for the very first time in 2020. NSSF surveyed firearm retailers which reported that 40% of sales were conducted to purchasers who have never previously owned a firearm,” the organization said in its analysis, which tracked background checks associated with the sale of a firearm reported by the FBI’s National Instant Background Check System.
Those security checks for January through July 2020 hit a record 12.1 million, up 71.7% from the 7.1 million check which occurred from January through July 2019. The organization said this equates to nearly 5 million first-time gun owners in the first seven months of 2020.
“This is a tectonic shift in the firearm and ammunition industry marketplace and complete transformation of today’s gun-owning community,” said Lawrence G. Keane, a senior vie president at the foundation.
“These first-time buyers represent a group of people who, until now, were agnostic regarding firearm ownership. That’s rapidly changing, and these Americans are taking hold of their God-given right to keep and bear arms and protect themselves and their loved ones,” Mr. Keane said.
The organization has other data to share.
The foundation’s current surveys revealed that 58% of all firearm purchases were among Black men and women, the largest increase of any demographic group. Women comprised 40% of first-time gun purchasers. Retailers also noted that they are seeing a 95% increase in firearm sales and a 139% increase in ammunition sales over the same period in 2019.