Gun sales soared in June, with 2,387,524 weapons sold, a year-over-year increase of 145.3% from June 2019, Small Arms Analytics & Forecasting reports.
“Likely single handgun sales (1,511,714) increased year-over-year by 177.5% whereas single long-gun sales (690,212) increased year-over-year by 114.3%. All other likely background check-related sales (185,599) increased year-over-year by 74.0%. This includes so-called ‘multiple’ sales where the allocation between handguns and long-guns cannot be determined from the data record,” the private firm reported.
“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,” The Wall Street Journal reported. “In June, background checks for firearms were up 136%, compared to a year earlier … background checks in June for civilians seeking a license to carry were the highest since the FBI began conducting checks 20 years ago.”
But SAAF noted that “the FBI’s raw numbers (for June, some 3,909,502) cannot be taken at face value as large numbers of background checks are unrelated to end-user sales.”
Still, the Journal reported that dealers estimate about 40% of guns were bought by first-time buyers, “an increase over the normal average of about a quarter.” The paper also said many of the new buyers “are people who say they never thought they would own a firearm and were previously critical of those who did.”
Gun sales soared in May, especially after the Memorial Day death of George Floyd, which has prompted riots and looting in dozens of cities across the U.S.
“You couldn’t even keep up with it. That’s how crazy it was,” Joe Hawk, owner of Guns & Roses in New Jersey, told The Washington Times. “After Memorial Day, it spiked again. It just went crazy again.”
One gun buyer told the Journal that he wanted to buy a gun because police might not protect him, saying, “I don’t want to ever shoot anybody ever. But if I had to duck and shoot back in self-defense, at least I’d have a chance.”