More Than Two Million Americans are Now First-Time Gun Owners

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posted on June 3, 2020
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Photo courtesy of the NSSF.

The first half of 2020 saw a record amount of firearms sales, with roughly 40% reportedly being first-time firearms owners, according to new data from the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF).

“May’s adjusted NICS background check figures are the highest on record for any May since record keeping began on point-of-sale instant background checks. Americans are being confronted with decisions regarding their personal safety and are voting with their wallets on their right to keep and bear arms. Our recent survey of firearm retailers shows us that 40 percent of these gun buyers are buying a firearm for the first time. Of those first-time gun owners, 40 percent are women and these buyers are overwhelmingly purchasing handguns for personal protection,” said the NSSF in a statement.

The NSSF analyzes National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) numbers and adjusts the data to more accurately reflect the number of firearms being purchased by removing background checks that are unlikely to represent those being done for the purpose of sales.

The data also indicates that handguns were the primary firearm of choice, “outpacing the second-most purchased firearm, shotguns, by a 2 to 1 margin,” according to the NSSF. This all equates to roughly 2.5 million new gun owners in a relatively short amount of time.

In fact, just a couple of months ago, firearms sales numbers spiked so much that the NICS system was effectively overwhelmed by the sheer number of background checks that needed to be processed.

Many in the mainstream media have reported these numbers with an ominous tone, as if these new buyers are panicked and irrational. Actually, the decision to defend oneself in the face of uncertainty is a natural and reasonable reaction.

This increase in sales was able to occur, in part, thanks to the NRA’s recent efforts to make sure that firearms dealers were included as essential businesses during this pandemic, as well as past efforts to ensure the Second Amendment was protected during any declared state of emergency.

If you are or know one of the more than two million new gun owners in America, please check out or let them know that there is no better resource than the NRA for training, information and much more.

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