Report: Gun Buying ‘Accelerated’; More Than 5 Million New Owners

A new report confirms millions of people bought guns for the first time om 2020-2021.

U.S.A.-( A new report in the Annals of Internal Medicine says firearm purchases in the U.S. accelerated between January 2020 and April 2021, producing an estimated 5.4 million new gun owners who “brought the weapons into homes that had not previously had them.”

The survey was conducted by Professor Matt Miller at Northeastern University.

As reported by The Guardian, “the total number of gun purchases rose from 13.8 million to 16.6 million between 2019 and 2020. Of those, approximately half of all new gun owners were female and nearly half were people of color.”

According to raw data published monthly by the FBI, last year saw 39,695,315 total background checks initiated with the National Instant Check System (NICS). Through November of this year, there have been 35,778,134 NICS checks initiated, with December still outstanding. Last year set a new record, with much credit going to public concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic followed by rioting and civil disorder in major cities combined with efforts by far-left municipal governments to reduce the size of their police departments and cut their funding. Resulting lawlessness and rises in crime have led to more gun purchases as people took more responsibility for their own safety.

Source: FBI National Instant Background Check System.

Not all NICS checks correspond to a firearm sale, the FBI acknowledges. The National Shooting Sports Foundation provides a monthly “adjusted figure” with an estimate of the number of checks that do involve an actual gun sale.

According to Mark Oliva, NSSF public affairs director, “November 2021’s NSSF-Adjusted NICS total of 1,543,378 brings the year-to-date total to 16,722,291 background checks for the sale of a firearm.

“This milestone figure of more than 16.7 million background checks for a gun sale shows there is still a strong appetite for lawful firearm ownership,” he added. “Americans are voting with their wallets when it comes gun rights in record numbers.”

The Guardian story asserted, “How much of the increase can be attributed to the pandemic is unclear, since background checks upon which most gun studies are extrapolated does not record reasons for sales.”

Primary funding for Miller’s research came from the anti-gun Joyce Foundation.

Miller told The Guardian, “Coinciding with the WHO’s declaration of the pandemic in March 2020, there as an acceleration of gun sales superimposed on a more gradual increase that was apparent over the previous 15 years, and that acceleration was fairly dramatic. There were close to 1.5 million new gun owners in 2020, a substantial increase over 2019.”

As reported by the newspaper, since a majority of the new gun buyers had “previously lived in homes without guns,” the study said the increase in gun ownership “collectively exposes another 11m people in those homes to the risk of household firearms.” It isn’t explained how those firearms pose a risk.

The study revealed, “Approximately half of all new gun owners were female (50% in 2019 and 47% in 2020 to 2021), 20% were Black (21% in 2019 and in 2020–2021), and 20% were Hispanic (20% in 2019 and 19% in 2020–2021).”

These are not the kind of demographics the gun prohibition lobby likes to acknowledge, since it suggests millions of people have changed their minds about depending upon law enforcement for protection. There was another acknowledgment in the study report you’re not likely to read about in the establishment media: “While guns statistics are notoriously difficult to apply to real-life events, the increase in gun sales doesn’t necessarily suggest a rise in violent crime, or necessarily a rise in accidents and suicides.”

Perhaps not surprisingly, The Guardian beat everybody else in reporting the study. As noted by the study, “The large increase in the number of NICS checks beginning in March 2020 sent journalists searching for stories, most of which were conceived with reference to the developing COVID-19 pandemic. A salient narrative emerged that focused on a putative surge in new gun owners, especially among racial minorities and women. News reports often cited the only source of COVID-19–era gun sales available early in the pandemic: a small, nonrepresentative survey of 175 firearm retailers that estimated 40% of firearm purchasers since the pandemic began were first-time gun owners.”

Heading into 2022, it will no doubt be at least some speculation over whether this spike in new gun ownership translates to a stronger gun rights voting bloc for the November midterm elections.

About Dave Workman

Dave Workman is a senior editor at and Liberty Park Press, author of multiple books on the Right to Keep & Bear Arms, and formerly an NRA-certified firearms instructor.

Dave Workman

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