First-Time Gun Buyers Grow to Nearly 5 Million in 2020

Welcome Aboard New Gun Owners Firearms iStock-gustavofrazao 689431612.jpg
Nearly 5 million Americans purchased a firearm for the very first time in 2020 IMG iStock-gustavofrazao 689431612

U.S.A. -( NSSF, the trade association for the firearm industry, updated retail survey-based estimates and concluded that nearly 5 million Americans purchased a firearm for the very first time in 2020. NSSF surveyed firearm retailers which reported that 40 percent of sales were conducted to purchasers who have never previously owned a firearm.

NSSF tracks the background checks associated with the sale of a firearm based on the FBI’s National Instant Background Check System (NICS). NSSF-adjusted NICS checks for January through July 2020 is a record 12.1 million, which is up 71.7 percent from the 7.1 million NSSF-adjusted NICS January through July 2019. This equates to nearly 5 million first-time gun owners in the first seven months of 2020.

“This is a tectonic shift in the firearm and ammunition industry marketplace and complete transformation of today’s gun-owning community,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President of General Counsel. “These first-time buyers represent a group of people who, until now, were agnostic regarding firearm ownership. That’s rapidly changing, and these Americans are taking hold of their God-given right to keep and bear arms and protect themselves and their loved ones.”

NSSF surveys revealed that 58 percent of firearm purchases were among African American men and women, the largest increase of any demographic group. Women comprised 40 percent of first-time gun purchasers. Retailers noted that they are seeing a 95 percent increase in firearm sales and a 139 percent increase in ammunition sales over the same period in 2019.

Several factors are contributing to the sustained surge in firearm purchases. Sales spiked in March, with a record-setting 2.3 million NICS background checks conducted for a firearm sale, the same month the coronavirus pandemic struck. During this time, police warned response times would be tested while mayors and governors emptied prisons, including violent felons. Some of those were rearrested within days for committing another violent crime. After Memorial Day, protests turned to looting, riots, and destruction, which continues today in several major metropolitan areas. Politically-charged calls to defund police also continue to spur sales.

This is also an election year and firearm sales typically rise during presidential election years. However, this year, Democratic candidates Joe Biden and U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) are calling for stringent gun control measures, including forcible confiscation, banning entire classes of firearms from lawful possession, licensing schemes and repealing the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which would expose the firearm industry to frivolous and harassing lawsuits.

Each month since March, NSSF-adjusted NICS background checks have set a record as the strongest ever recorded for that month.

National Shooting Sports FoundationAbout The National Shooting Sports Foundation

NSSF is the trade association for the firearm industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of thousands of manufacturers, distributors, firearm retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations, and publishers nationwide. For more information, visit

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Gun safety used to be handed down through the generations, but no longer.
Knowledge and know-how have gone by the wayside. Who’s going to teach this new generation of gun owners that heavy responsibility that comes with gun ownership? This forum contributes, but there’s no experience like one on one.

uncle dudley

This kind of news drives the anti-gun folks crazy, I love it!


Too bad that ammo is so hard to find…….New owners need practice…

grim reaper

Hope all those new gun owners get out and vote or Biden/Harris will be there to take those new guns away


I’m pleased to see the numbers for black Americans increasing so much. General gun ownership will help reduce black-on-black gun violence.


And hopefully all of these new owners know the difference between the “right to bear arms” and the responsibility to legally use them. Even most introductory courses on gun handling spend way too little time on the legal definition and use of “deadly force” – and when, in your state or locality, you can and cannot use it. Most gun owners have little understanding of the legal implications of “immediate and unavoidable” when applied to a situation, “intent”, “means”, “opportunity” when applied to a potential target, or “a reasonable person would conclude” when applied to the owner. These are not… Read more »


Now they need to vote accordingly to keep that right.


While not directly related to this article this news item gives a glimpse into the future for a number of those “first time gun owners.”


Possibly. It then behoves us more experienced gun owners to reach out to as many as possible and teach them what we were taught by our fathers and grandfathers (or moms and grandmoms).

The threats we face aren’t just from gun grabbing politicians. We compete for resources with soccer fields and golf courses and a myriad of other land uses. More gun owners means more votes to keep or to build a public shooting range. We need to “capture” these newcomers and help this be a positive change. And yes, I’m doing exactly what I preach.


I am not aware of a “public” shooting range here in Oklahoma. But then most of the land here is privately owned. There are ranges you can shoot at for a fee and then there are generally relatives or friends that have property for that purpose. It seems to work well.


I believe that is what he is referring to. In Baltimore, there are around 10 ranges, some of them outdoor, others indoor. My company tried to build one in the DFW area 3 years ago, but the banks were hesitant to provide capital for “gun-related” businesses. We shut it down after 6 months. Now there are at least 10 in the DFW area. Frisco Gun Club is one of the premier ranges.


I’m a (charter) member at a local indoor range in Oklahoma City, very near my home, so it’s easy access for me. It’s a beautiful modern facility with great personnel, and it costs Seniors just under a dollar (about 95 cents) per day… for unlimited access. Everyone else is just a bit over a dollar per day. Works for me! 🙂


You must be referring to Wilshire.


Thumbs up!