With three months still to go, 2021 is already the second-highest year ever for firearms background checks and sales in America, putting it on a path to break 2020’s record.
But what is untold in the new FBI numbers for September is the continued trend of women buying weapons for the first time and new owners expanding their arsenals.
Also, the buying frenzy prompted by the coronavirus, the 2020 election, and Black Lives Matter riots has eased a bit, and firearms and ammunition manufacturers are starting to build up inventories again.
Industry officials said that has made buying weapons easier and cheaper, one of several reasons sales and background check numbers for September were the second-highest for the month on record — just behind September 2020.
So far this year, there have been over 30 million checks through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. In 2020, there was a total of 39,615,395 checks.
Justin Anderson, the marketing director for Hyatt Guns in Charlotte, North Carolina, told us that the industry is in a sales bubble.
“Bubbles really started when Barack Obama was first elected president,” said Anderson, whom Secrets often taps for trends in the industry. He added, “Customers would buy their first gun and they were hooked. I’ve also seen a slow progression of guns becoming more socially acceptable again, which also creates more customers.”
That has clearly happened with minorities, especially women and African Americans, according to industry and government data.
Anderson told us, “Demand remains strong, especially from women and African Americans. While the ‘Pandemic Panic’ buying phase is coming to a close, many people who purchased firearms during that time have become repeat customers. This is typical of the firearms bubble economy and has happened several times before, just on a smaller scale. Our numbers show that we’re trending right with last year’s numbers, and we’re fully 40% ahead of 2019.”
Mark Oliva, the spokesman for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, added that sales should remain high.
“Firearm sales typically rise during autumn months as hunters get back into the woods, fields, and marshes for hunting season and gun buyers take advantage of new models and holiday sales,” he said.
Oliva added, “It must also be considered that Americans continue to buy firearms for personal protection. The recent FBI Uniform Crime Report indicated that violent crime rose and Americans continue to buy firearms in response to concerns for their personal protection. Each month since April 2021 has registered as the second-strongest month on record for gun sale background checks, only behind 2020, when 21 million background checks were recorded. At this pace, 2021 could be the second-strongest year for firearm sales ever recorded.”
The continued gun surge comes as President Joe Biden and congressional Democrats move to install new gun control measures such as ending sales of popular semi-automatics such as AR-15-style sporting rifles and handguns that use magazines.
Biden’s effort to make an avid gun control activist the head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives failed, however.