With under three weeks until election day, gun sales have continued to pick up—and according to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), which is used an industry barometer, there has been a 41 percent increase in activity during the first nine months of the year compared to the same period in 2019.
That is notable as last year set the record for firearm sales, but since the outbreak of the coronavirus, firearms have been steadily in demand. Guns are always essentially “recession-proof” but this year the combination of the pandemic, calls to “defund the police” and an election that could see new legislators installing gun control—sales have been simply off the charts.
The first half of the year had already seen more than nineteen million checks conducted, which was more than all of 2012 or any year prior—going all the way back to when the system was put in place at the end of 1998. The sales did not decline in the months that followed.
First Time Buyers Driving Sales
While many American gun owners certainly don’t need another reason to buy another firearm, what has driven sales this year is the number of first-time buyers, which shot up to record levels. This was very much due to the aforementioned coronavirus pandemic but also the massive civil unrest, with many buyers saying they fear that the contentious presidential race could erupt into violence.
First-time purchases have more than doubled in 2020 and accounted for 40 percent of all sales