Have gun, will shelter in place.
With Americans hunkered down in their homes for a second straight month, gun sales have soared. Sales in April rose 71.3% from the previous year, with the purchase of more than 1.7 million firearms.
An estimated 1,797,910 guns were sold in April 2020, but sales in March, when most states locked down Americans, 2,583,238 firearms were sold. That was 85.3 percent more than the previous year, according to data released late Monday by Small Arms Analytics and Forecasting.
Gun checks are also soaring. The week of April 13-19 was in the 10 highest weeks since the tracking system was set up in November 1998. During that week in April, the FBI conducted 766,739 checks.
“This shows us there is continued appetite among Americans to be able to provide for their own safety during times of uncertainty,” said Mark Oliva, a spokesperson for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, although his organization found the numbers rose by 69.1% in April. “These are buyers who have witnessed their governments empty prisons… Police departments are stretched beyond capacity in many cases. Law-abiding Americans recognize this and exercising their right to own a gun and defend themselves and their loved ones,” he told Fox Business.
The report comes as more Americans are being forced to hunt for their own meat. Meat plants have been forced to halt operations over the coronavirus outbreak and shortages are spreading across the country.
“People are starting to consider self-reliance and where their food comes from,” Hank Forester of Quality Deer Management Association told the New York Post, adding that he believes there will be a hunting resurgence as grocery store shelves continue to go bare.
At least three major meat producers — Tyson Foods, JBS USA and Smithfield Foods — have shut down more than dozen plants across the U.S.
Oliva recently told Fox Business that during the virus, “Americans want to know they can provide for their own safety and the safety of their loved ones.”
“Our rights don’t end during a pandemic,” he said. “In fact, the need for responsible and law-abiding adults to exercise their rights is magnified.”
Meanwhile, Democrats have been trying to use the virus as cover for dismantling the Second Amendment.
Virginia lawmakers tried to ban so-called assault weapons like AR-15 rifles, but that didn’t pass. Still, some of Gov. Ralph “Blackface” Northam’s gun control measures have passed in the state’s Democratic-controlled General Assembly and lawmakers will hash out the differences between both chambers in the coming weeks.
“Some of the bills include limiting handgun purchases to once a month; universal background checks on gun purchases; and a red flag bill that would allow authorities to temporarily take guns away from anyone deemed to be dangerous to themselves or others,” Fox reported.