Did 1 in 20 of American Households Purchase a Gun in Response to COVID-19?

Courtesy Dean Weingarten

U.S.A.-(Ammoland.com)- At the end of March 2020, Newsy.com/IPSOS conducted a survey asking people if they had purchased a firearm in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The survey is reported to have found one in 20 households purchased a gun with that reason in mind. Another one in ten households were said to be considering purchasing a gun for that reason. From newsy.com:

One in 20 households say they’ve bought a gun in response to the coronavirus outbreak. That’s according to an exclusive Newsy/Ipsos survey showing that many Americans have reacted to COVID-19 and the uncertainty brought on by the pandemic by buying or thinking about buying guns.

“I got a Glock. That seemed like a pretty reliable … very reputable weapon.”

Justin Orel is a web developer and former Marine living with his wife and newborn in Kansas City, Missouri.

“I thought about purchasing a firearm for a while. Never really was sure about it. Also I’m not like, I don’t know, a gun nut, or like, I don’t know, also usually more on the side of like heavier gun controls probably not a terrible thing like better background checks and things like that. … We were just like, well, maybe now is the time just in case, like, something crazy happens or people start losing their minds … Maybe better to have one and not need it than need it and not have it.”

There are reported to be about 129 million households in the United States in 2020. Five percent of that (1 in 20) would be 6.5 million households.

The National Instant background Check System (NICS reported close to 2,373,193 million guns sold in March of 2020. The numbers are not perfect. When multiple sales are done, they can be recorded as one check, but they would still go to the same household.  NICS records few private sales. The February 2020 NICS reported about 1,244,177 gun sales. The total of the two months is 3,617,370. It is unlikely people were purchasing guns out of concern for the coronavirus before February.

NICS by Category 2020
NICS by Category 2020

3.6 million is far short of the 6.5 million needed for five percent of the households in the United States to purchase a firearm.

Some of the sample in the survey may reveal wishful thinking. Without the actual question asked in the survey, we cannot know if people might have answered a hypothetical. An additional ten percent of the people surveyed reported they considered purchasing a firearm because of concerns with the current pandemic.

The firearm sales in March of 2020 were the all-time record for any month recorded in the over 20-year history of the NICS system. The previous record was in December of 2015, when the total was 2,213,121. March 2020 broke that record by over seven percent.

A claim could be made that American households are seven percent more concerned with the Wuhan Flu than with the election of Hillary Clinton. That claim would be false.

Guns are very durable items. They seldom break. They take only a small amount of maintenance to last for hundreds of years.  Thus, the numbers manufactured and imported are additive over a period of decades.

Most of the people who feared the election of Hillary Clinton have already bought their guns. They are part of the over 440 million guns already in the private stock in the United States. Of course, they might purchase more of them. There were about 430 million privately owned firearms at the end of 2018. About 13.9 million were added in 2019.

The number of gun sales in 2020, through the end of March, about 4.7 million, adds approximately 1% to the number of guns already in private hands.

Did five percent of American households buy a gun in response to the COVID-19 pandemic? No. The numbers do not support it. At most, perhaps two percent did, and another 13 percent are thinking about it.

Second Amendment supporters are winning the culture war.

About Dean Weingarten:Dean Weingarten

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

A “former marine” who is typically a gun control advocate had to think about buying a gun to protect his family? WTF??? I’d say red flag him.


There’s no such animal as a “Former Marine.” If you agree with gun control, you’re a disgrace to “The Corps”, What did you think you were fighting for, Social justice?


I wonder just how many gun control advocates purchased firearms once they became “afraid” due to the media and government incited panic of COVID 19? I believe the term for those people would be HYPOCRITES.

jack mac

JPM: The term for gun control advocates is ENEMY.


I believe the term for those people would be HYPOCRITES.

or maybe “I saw the light”………….


LOL! I, like many here I suspect, have guns that they either have never fired or guns that they can’t remember when they fired last. Some of those are heirlooms or just pieces that have been supplanted by something you like better and you don’t like to sell your guns once you own them. And then there are those you have plans to buy just because.


@RoyD – Certainly. My wife has a pair of percussion rifles which are well over a hundred years old (pre civil war?) and have never been fired by either of us, or by her mother who had them before us. I did take them to a gunsmith specializing in antiques – he assured me that getting them functional would cost far more than they are worth. I’m not all that handy, so rather than attempting to repair these, I’ve decided that if I go BP it will be with modern reproductions which I suspect are less prone to catastrophic failure.… Read more »


The only positive side effect of the COVID-19 panic-demic for me was it revealed a few issues in my bug-in preparedness that needed some improvement. Those issues have been addressed. Guns & Ammo were not among those needing improvement.


Join the club. I keep a years supply of toilet paper, but as with other staples, I rotate them through. However, due to complacency it so happened that I was down to 6 months and ready for another years worth precisely as this hit. So now I can’t restock, and have to hope that this lasts less than 6 months or I’ll have to start using a hose! Nevertheless, I have backup besides the hose. A wood scraper makes wonderful fluff out of a birch limb, and we’re still worlds ahead of the sheeple fighting for TP on wally world’s… Read more »

jack mac

The number of firearms and owners is not to be known by current or future enemies. When polled about firearms a preferred response is, ‘you are not to know.’.

Old Ch.E.

I prefer “none of your damned business”. That way they don’t forget and ask again.

Heed the Call-up

The better response is just one word, no.


That is my choice on every pollster. Actually it’s “not interested”, but then I’m ever the diplomat. 🙂
“speak softly but carry a big stick” -Some president or other.


The best answer is to not answer. Just walk away or hang up. OPSEC


How about “you are on a need to know basis. When you NEED to know, you will. At that time I will either already have taken care of you, or will be wetting my pants because I don’t have one, and you will soon do the same.


My favorite response is, You got a need to know card?


Justin doesn’t sound like any Marine I’ve ever met! He sounds like a coward that has no idea what he was fighting for!

Wild Bill

@CH75, Come to think of it, I know lots of retired Marines … from 30 to 80 years old, and all of them have lots of guns … and usually one with them.




Guys like him make us former squids use the term “the lesser part of the Navy” Other than his ilk I have no greater respect for Marines and trained and was assigned to the Corps for a while back in the day. Not heavy duty mind you but weapon training at Pendleton and a stint at a place wiped out by tet and the Marines were still there to “administer” for us.


The popup ads are a real nuisance. I am ready to ditch Ammoland because of this.

C Step

Install AdGuard AdBlocker as a Chrome Extension. I never get pop-ups.


Try an ad blocker. Ad block plus, or Ads block plus are two I’ve used. Sits on your browser bar and keep the irritants to a minimum.


The future belongs to freedom.


I bought a Ruger Match Champion last week. Not because of Corona but just because I wanted one. Obama and Hillary already took care of my ammo needs. Thanks Obama.


Well, I’m doing my part. Sig P365XL with manual safety. Not virus associated……just no adult supervision in my life. I’m a gunaholic.

Old Ch.E.

Nah, in Texas we already had plenty.

uncle dudley

What a shame the picture used above is, if the person wanting to buy a firearm can’t speak or read English maybe they shouldn’t be in the store or the country enjoying the freedoms of the second amendment.


Being able to protect yourself is an UNALIENABLE right, no matter who you are or where you live. The second amendment is a prohibition against the GOVERNMENT telling them to leave the RIGHT alone. Why do I have to repeat this so often? OH, I KNOW WHY!!! Because you were most likely “educated” in a 10th Plank Communist Manifesto public school where they don’t teach simple basic understanding of the Constitution or Declaration of Independence ever.

C Step

Well said, CourageousLion. Even people who speak Spanish deserve to live. if we truly believe that a gun can be the difference between life and death, we should all support everyone owning one.


We need to make English the legal language.


Uncle Dudley: Not everyone who comes to this country is fluent in English from the start. Bigots like you do nothing to promote our way of life or what the Founders believed in.




the God’given right to our own self-defense (individually and collectively) knows no limits based on language, place of residence, citizenship, ethnicity, or even age. ….. now, if an individual has illegally invaded our territory, they of course do not have the right to arms, as they are criminals, and have already violated the “security of a free state” by their invading. Once here lawfully, they have the moral right to arms, unless they intend evil with them.


On the other hand, no gun retailer has any obligation to communicate with any/everyone in their own native language if it is other than english. Learn to speak english if you are here. I learned to speak spanish when I began spending tme in latin america…. it is not hard.