Americans are buying guns in record numbers.
The new coronavirus pandemic, civil unrest after the killing of George Floyd and the ensuing movement to defund police are bringing in new buyers worried about their personal safety, according to buyers, store owners and gun experts.
Gun sales began rising to unusual highs in March, as coronavirus cases began surging in the U.S. and government-ordered lockdowns led to the highest unemployment levels since the Great Depression. The Federal Bureau of Investigation processed 7.8 million background checks for gun purchases from March to June, according to National Shooting Sports Foundation, a firearms industry trade group.
During most big sales increases, buyers tend to be gun aficionados or Second Amendment supporters. But this time, sales of handguns, which are used for personal safety, are the strongest.
Nearly two handguns, commonly used for self-protection, are being sold for every rifle or shotgun, according to federal data. In the past, the biggest surges in gun sales were fueled by rushes on AR-15 style rifles that Second Amendment activists feared might be banned by the government, such as after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in 2012.
Gun stores were closed in some states in March amid a debate over whether they needed to be open during lockdowns, along with such essential businesses as grocery stores and gas stations. But eventually, all state governments allowed them to operate after the Trump administration said they should be considered essential businesses.
Among the new buyers are people who say they never thought they would own a firearm and were previously critical of those who did.
(Source: Fox News)