After taking a breather in the early years of the Donald Trump presidency, gun sales set a record this year.
Fueled in part by a field of Democrat presidential candidates hell bent on instituting a wide array of gun control measures at the beginning of the year, the instability created by the global pandemic and government responses to it, and the insane “defund the police movement,” there were plenty of factors that sent gun sales skyrocketing in 2020.
Unlike the kind of increase in purchases that is common following mass public shootings, this rise in gun sales doesn’t mainly represent current gun owners purchasing more guns. There are over five million new gun owners this year, likely the largest surge in gun ownership in U.S. history.
According to Breitbart:
At this point in December it is already apparent Americans bought approximately 21 million guns this year, an increase of 73 percent over the number purchased in 2019.
ABC News quotes figures from The Trace to report the estimated 21 million guns sold and claims the buying surge is the result of a “perfect storm” consisting of “the pandemic, economic recession, civil unrest and a divisive presidential election.”
Gun sales in the first eight months of 2020 exceeded the entirety of 2019, and have topped the prior all time sales record set in 2016.
November 2020 was the 11th consecutive month of record background checks for gun sales. FBI figures showed there were 3,626,335 National Instant Criminal Background System (NICS) checks performed in November 2020, which represented more checks than were performed in any November since NICS was established.
This same scenario was true of January 2020, which witnessed more NICS checks than any January on record, and February 2020, which witnessed more NICS than any February on record, and so on, all the way through November.
This rise in gun ownership coincides with gun control plummeting in popularity this year. According to polling from Gallup, “Americans are less likely than they have been since 2016 to call for increased gun control. The latest majority (57%) in the U.S. who call for stricter laws covering the sale of firearms marks a seven-percentage-point decline since last year. At the same time, 34% of U.S. adults prefer that gun laws be kept as they are now, while 9% would like them to be less strict.”
The type of gun control that’s being supported today tends to be of “scary” weapons, such as so-called assault weapons, whose only differences with regular firearms are cosmetic. It would be amusing to ask someone describing the AR-15 as a “weapon of war” if they could name a single military engagement in which one was used (hint: there aren’t any).
Support for a blanket handgun ban is at the lowest level ever except for one year, and has consistently trended downward.
Ironically, it’s handguns that make up the disproportionate share of firearm homicides in the U.S., not the “scary” firearms people want to regulate. There were four times as many people are killed with knives that all types of rifles (not just “assault” rifles) last year. That support for gun control is disproportionately in favor of restricting “assault rifles” just goes to prove that what support there is for gun control is being driven by media hysteria, not the facts.