Gun background checks soared by more than 20 percent to 3.5 million in April as Americans feeling vulnerable and unprotected after a year of violent protests, defund the police movements, and efforts to bring in tough new gun restrictions, rushed out to buy guns. Moreover, at least 40 percent of the people buying weapons in the past year were first time gun owners, a survey by National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), a national trade association for the firearms industry, showed.
The National Rifle Association (NRA) blamed last summer’s rioting, efforts to defund the police, changes to bail laws during coronavirus and Biden’s proposals for gun restrictions, for the surge in sales and background checks, Daily Mail reported.
“People felt vulnerable,” NRA director of media relations, Amy Hunter said. “Many realized their safety was ultimately in their own hands and they reacted by going out and purchasing firearms.”
Civil unrest and riots following controversial officer-involved encounters — which appear to be condoned by most Democrats — drive gun sales. See the chart below for the spike in 2016, the year Michael Brown was killed while attacking an officer in Ferguson, Missouri, and 2020, the year George Floyd died while being taken into custody in Minneapolis. Nationwide riots followed in both instances, subsequently leading to more citizens purchasing weapons.
“In the last year, Americans have experienced politicians trying to shut down firearm stores, criminals being set free from prison and police departments defunded across the nation. This all happened in the midst of a pandemic, a lockdown and widespread rioting,” Hunter said.
Gun sales and background checks have grown year after year since the assault weapons ban expired on September 13, 2004. The end of the ban meant more people were able to buy assault weapons, such as AR-15s – meaning more background checks needed to be fulfilled.
So far, more than 7.1 million background checks have been conducted in 2021 for a firearm sale meaning this year is likely to meet or surpass 2020’s figures, according to Daily Mail.
NSSF spokesman Mark Oliva said sales are being driven by continued concerns for personal safety and by calls for gun control coming from Biden and the Democrats in Congress.
Oliva says the pace of background checks for firearm sales in 2021 is very close to 2020 numbers.
Biden has previously unveiled a series of executive actions in April. The regulations require buyers of so-called ‘ghost guns’ – assembled from different parts, often without serial numbers – to undergo background checks and pistol braces that allow more accurate shooting.
The Department of Justice will also publish model “red flag” laws for states to ban certain people getting weapons and will “invest in community-based violence intervention,” i.e. telling kids that guns are evil while passively prosecuting (or ignoring) violent crime committed by hardcore criminals.
However, gun rights activists have pushed back at any restriction attempts and have rushed out to buy more weapons amid fears their guns could be taken away – a pattern seen in gun sales any time restrictions are discussed by an administration.
The number of gun sales demonstrate that when an anti-gun president gets elected people instinctively know their rights will be restricted, particularly since Biden and the Democrat Party routinely make this part of their platform.
At a time when “progressive” cities are leaving personal safety up to its citizens, the Second Amendment is the best means of keeping themselves and their loved ones safe.
The number of guns in the United States is unknown due to Congress enacting the Firearms Protection Act, which bans the ATF from creating a registry of guns, gun owners or gun sales.