Despite bare shelves and back orders of up to a year, gun sales continued to soar last month as more people sought personal protection and got ahead of the coming gun control wave from the Biden administration and a liberal Congress.
The FBI said that its background check tally of 3,442,777 was the highest February count ever and followed January’s 4,314,804 monthly record over the 24-year-old system. Already, in just two months, there have been nearly as many background checks than for each of the first seven years of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
Industry experts, who are getting better at translating and adjusting the NICS checks into likely sales, said about 1.5 million guns were purchased in February.
While that is 10% higher than February 2020, considering the drought of weapons and ammunition at stores, it was likely the third highest February sales number, following 2013 and 2016.
Justin Anderson, the marketing director for Charlotte, North Carolina’s Hyatt Gun Store, said concerns about gun control are firing up sales.
Anderson, who Secrets regularly taps for industry trends, told us on Wednesday, “We’re in the midst of an interesting paradigm: We have a president who is a lap dog to the anti-gun lobby while 7 million Americans became new gun owners in the last nine months. President Biden has put forth one of the most anti-Second Amendment agendas I’ve ever seen, states are already scrambling to pass laws to resist any new federal gun laws, and people see their rights in jeopardy like never before. As a result, business is booming like never before, and, thankfully, product is becoming more available. Fear and uncertainty drives gun sales, and many people are arming themselves for a very uncertain future.”
And both groups noted that the sales covered by the FBI system do not cover all sales and transfers.
Still, the number was huge and continues a trend of people buying more firearms.
NSSF said 21 million background checks were conducted for gun sales last year, a 60% increase over 2019.
And last year also saw a growing pattern of first-time buyers, especially minorities. The group said, “NSSF estimates that 8.4 million people bought a firearm for the first time in 2020. That’s 40% of all purchases. This year’s buyer is increasingly diverse too. Forty percent of 2020’s buyers were women and the biggest increase of any demographic category was among African Americans, who bought guns at a rate of 58% greater than in 2019.”