U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- April 2020 was another record-breaking month for the National Instant background Check System (NICS). The numbers for the month were:
- Handguns – 984,872, almost a million!
- Long guns – 508,122 over half a million!
- Other – 68,746
- Multiple – 34,778 (multiplied by 2.5 to approximate the number of firearms, 86,948)
The new format for the graphics shows last year's numbers in the blue, green, yellow, and red lines. The blue, green, yellow, and red bars show this year's numbers.
Total firearms sold, as recorded by NICS – 1,648,688.
The numbers are not as high as for March but are significantly higher than last year. They are the highest numbers for April on record.
The sales happened in spite of a significant number of gun shops being shut down by decree by state governors, then re-opened after protests, lawsuits, and the Trump administration declaring them essential businesses.
In the period of dropping economic numbers and record-level unemployment, over 1.6 million Americans voted with their credit cards and wallets to support, in a very concrete way, the reality of the Second Amendment.
Perhaps because of social distancing, the number of permit checks and rechecks were only 42% of total NICS checks, while the recent trend has been over half of all NICS. In April of 2019, permit checks and rechecks were 58% of total NICS, a reversal of the proportions.
This is in stark contrast to Canada, where the right of Englishmen to Arms has been effectively abolished over the last 85 years.
In Canada, with considerable effort, you can obtain a permit to allow you to take your unloaded, and double-locked pistol to the range, directly, without stopping. For the vast majority of pistol owners, the range is the only place the pistol is allowed to be loaded or fired.
The Prime Minister banned a list of 1500 models deemed to fall into the rather fluid definition of “assault weapons”, without a vote of Parliament.
In the United States, with its Bill of Rights and the Second Amendment, those sort of bans are not allowed.
According to Larry Keane at the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a large percentage of the firearm purchasers in the United States were first time buyers.
The Trump Bump in gun sales has continued two months now, with many popular models being temporarily difficult to come by. Handguns accounted for a bit less than two-thirds of the total sales, although precise numbers are not known. This is because the category of multiple sales and other sales could be either handguns or long guns, or both at the same time. It is likely the proportions are close.
Ammunition sales are also up, according to a local gun shop, particularly for pistol cartridges. A quick visit to a local WalMart showed a lot of empty space on the ammunition shelves. WalMart had been liquidating its handgun ammunition before the Chinese Virus lock-down heightened customers' awareness of societal vulnerabilities.
It is possible the deadlock at the Supreme Court about the Second Amendment has also contributed to record sales. It is much easier to hang on to a firearm you already own than to get permission to own one once restrictive legislation is passed.
American gun culture is alive and well. Most gun owners own guns for defense of self and others, as well as for hunting and target shooting.
In the rest of the Anglosphere, there are two foundational deceptions used to restricting gun ownership.
First, define guns as illegitimate for self-defense. This removes the most powerful argument for moral gun ownership.
Second, make ownership of guns a privilege, instead of a right.
Both foundations have been used as powerful arguments for heavy restrictions on gun ownership in the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
About 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.