More guns were purchased in 2020 than at any other point in American history, with Americans buying more than 16.5 million guns, 1.6 million more than they purchased in 2016, the last record year.
The Washington Free Beacon’s Stephen Gutowski reported that the figures related to gun sales through the month of October, meaning the total number is likely to be higher after an additional two months. Gutowski analyzed FBI data and found that four million more guns were sold in 2020 than in 2019, an increase of more than 33%.
“The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the gun industry’s trade group, also estimated nearly seven million people purchased a gun for the first time between January and October,” Gutowski reported. “The record sales come during a year in which Americans have faced a pandemic, economic downturn, prisoner releases, racial tension, and rioting. Those factors, as well as a contentious presidential election, have driven sales throughout the year, according to industry experts. And those gun sales—especially to new owners—are now likely to drive votes.”
NSSF spokesman Mark Oliva told the outlet: “This much is clear as we head into Election Day: Americans of all political persuasions are exercising their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms and doing so in record numbers.”
“It cannot be discounted that today’s gun buyers are faced with polar opposites of presidential candidates when it comes to protecting Second Amendment rights,” Oliva said. “President Donald Trump vowed to safeguard this right and former vice president Joe Biden and his running mate, Senator Kamala Harris, have both embraced outright confiscation of lawfully owned firearms as the headliner of the most far-reaching gun-control agenda to be presented to the American voter.”
Oliva also told the Free Beacon that October 2020 had the highest sales of any October on record and that he viewed the increase in sales was due to Americans disapproving of national gun-control messages and policies.
“America is watching and is already voting with their wallets when it comes to lawful firearm ownership,” Oliva told the outlet. “This has been a sustained period of firearm sales since March. This is clearly not a one-off event.”
As The Daily Wire previously reported, health care workers surprisingly made up the majority of people who purchased firearms during the coronavirus pandemic.
A study from New Mexico State University and the University of Toledo found that 67% of people who said they bought a gun during the coronavirus pandemic worked in the health care industry. In the first few weeks of the pandemic, the researchers found, working as a health care professional was a strong predictor of firearm purchasing.
In addition to gun sales, permits for concealed carry have also soared in 2020, with women and minorities leading the increase, The Daily Wire reported. “There were 2.7 million concealed handgun permit holders in 1999, 4.6 million in 2007, 8 million in 2011, 11.1 million in 2014, and now 19.48 million in 2020,” said a report from John Lott’s Crime Prevention Research Center.