News and Commentary

Gun Sales In May Hit Record — Again
Pointed gun
Blake Little/Getty Images

First a pandemic lockdown, then race riots in the streets.

The current state of affairs in America has led to record sales of guns.

Small Arms Analytics & Forecasting (SAAF) “estimates May 2020 U.S. firearms unit sales at 1,726,053 units, a year-over-year increase of 80.2% from May 2019,” the private research firm said in a press release. “Likely single handgun sales (1,052,723) increased year-over-year by 94.0% whereas single long-gun sales (535,014) increased year-over-year by 66.3%. All other likely background check-related sales (138,316) increased year-over-year by 48.2%. This includes so-called “multiple” sales where the allocation between handguns and long-guns cannot be determined from the data record.”

The rise in May followed another surge in April, which rose 71.3% over April 2019, with another 1.7 million firearms purchased. March also saw soaring numbers, 2,583,238 firearms sold — 85.3% more than the previous year, according to SAAF data.

“Yet again, firearms sales have surged in unprecedented ways,” said SAAF Chief Economist Jurgen Brauer. “In May 2020, very nearly two handguns were sold for every long-gun, pushing their ratio new record of 1.97. Traditionally, the ratio increases in the first half of the year before dropping off in the second half. Still, the boom in handgun sales has been particularly noticeable in recent months.”

Gun checks have also been soaring. More than 3 million checks were run through the FBI’s national instant check system in May, a record and 32% above from May 2019. The week of April 13-19 was in the 10 highest weeks since the tracking system was set up in November 1998. During that week in April, the FBI conducted 766,739 checks.

“This shows us there is continued appetite among Americans to be able to provide for their own safety during times of uncertainty,” said Mark Oliva, a spokesperson for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, whose organization found the numbers rose by 69.1% in April. “These are buyers who have witnessed their governments empty prisons… Police departments are stretched beyond capacity in many cases. Law-abiding Americans recognize this and exercising their right to own a gun and defend themselves and their loved ones,” he told Fox Business.

Dana Loesch, former spokesman for the National Rifle Association, told Fox Business on Tuesday she was “not at all” surprised to hear the numbers.

“When people see the violence that they see on television – and people understand the difference between peaceful protesters and violent rioters – they see, you know, the sunset and then the fires start, and see the assaults and the looting and the breaking and destruction of private property,” Loesch said. “So they look at this and it unnerves them, especially after we’ve all been locked up for, like, three months.”

“This is people’s livelihoods. For some people, their lives are over when they lose their ability to make ends meet,” she said. “These aren’t rich corporation heads that are feeling the brunt of this.”

The Daily Wire, headed by bestselling author and popular podcast host Ben Shapiro, is a leading provider of conservative news, cutting through the mainstream media’s rhetoric to provide readers the most important, relevant, and engaging stories of the day. Get inside access to The Daily Wire by becoming a member.

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