Millions of First Time Gun Owners Confirmed

Below the Radar: The Multiple Firearm Sales Reporting Modernization Act of 2019
Below the Radar: The Multiple Firearm Sales Reporting Modernization Act of 2019

U.S.A.-(– In the record-breaking sale of firearms in 2020, there were many people in that number that purchased firearms for the first time.

Many of the new gun owners were driven to purchase guns because of the uncertainty seen in 2020. There were many riots. There were prosecutors who refused to prosecute. The murder rate grew rapidly. The political system was attacked and vilified.

Gun sales reached a record level of about 20.66 million guns sold in 2020, according to this correspondent’s calculations.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation ran surveys at numerous retail outlets. Those surveys indicated there were about 8.4 million first time gun buyers in 2020 and 5.4 million in 2021:

Recent firearm industry retail data revealed first-time gun buyers especially, totaling more than 5.4 million in 2021 and 8.4 million in 2020, are seeking training opportunities with their new purchases.

Once experienced with the process involved to legally purchase their gun and confident with using it, it’s no wonder gun-owning Americans view the push for more gun control with increasing skepticism.

Surveys are difficult to verify.

According to the NSSF survey, about 13.8 million gun purchasers in 2020 and 2021 were first time gun buyers.

In a California federal case about whether a state can ban semi-automatic firearms and magazines (Miller v Bonta), Judge Roger Benitez required the state to provide statistics about gun sales.

California is unusual among states, it requires all legal firearm sales to be processed through a federal dealer.  Those statistics are the most complete data we have on firearms sales in a state.

The California Department of Justice, Bureau of Firearms, was forced to provide data about new firearm buyers.

Blake Graham, Assistant Director of the California Department of Justice provided the following in a sworn document to the court:

 The total number of firearms sold in California with background checks in 2020 was 1,165,309. As of March 12, 2021, the total number of firearms sold in California with background checks in 2021 was 180,058. These figures account for all firearm sales conducted through FFLs in the state, including private-party transactions, consignments, and pawn sales.

Graham also provided the number of first time firearm purchasers, as well as could be determined:

Based on these parameters, approximately 369,511 individuals purchased a firearm in California who had not previously submitted a DROS application to the Department prior to January 1, 2020. As of March 12, 2021, approximately 42,548 individuals purchased a firearm who had not previously submitted a DROS application to the Department prior to January 1, 2021.

Of the guns purchased in all of 2020 in California, about 32% were by new gun buyers. Of the guns purchased up until March of 2021, about 24% were new gun buyers.

There were about 20.66 million guns purchased in the USA in 2020. Using the percentages from California, about 6.55 million of those would be new gun buyers. In the smaller sample from 2021, the percentage of new gun buyers was 24%. Extrapolated to the entire USA for all of 2021, that would be another 4.34 million new gun buyers.

Extrapolating the California percentages to the entire United States, there would be about 10.95 million new gun buyers in 2020 and 2021.

The total for the two years, based on the California Department of Safety figures, would be 10.95 million new gun buyers. While this figure is smaller than the NSSF estimate of 13.8 million new gun buyers, it is based on sales in California.

Gun sales are more difficult for a first-time buyer in California than for most other states. This might discourage prospective gun owners from buying the first gun in California.

For example, new gun owners in California must take a test and pass it. Then they are given a Firearms Safety Certificate (FSC). An FSC is required before they can purchase a firearm. Only one firearm may be purchased in any given 30 days.

Once the firearm is purchased, the purchaser has to wait 10 days before they are allowed to possess it.

In 2020, Californians purchased about .024 firearms per capita.

In nonrestrictive states (other than CA, HI, NY, NJ, MA, MD, and DC), residents purchased .075 firearms per capita or over three times as many.

Considering the limitations of retail surveys and the potential bias in purchasing guns in a restrictive state, the California numbers are reasonably close to the NSSF estimate.

As this is written, we are more than half way through 2022. It is reasonable to surmise over 12 million new gun owners have been added to the number of gun owners in the United States in the last three years.

The new gun owners go far in explaining the difficulty in obtaining ammunition at prices common only four years ago.

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.

Dean Weingarten

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they even made their own crazy base afraid enough to by guns


We still have private sales here in Montana that requires no paperwork . Freedom still rings here unlike commiefornia . Tough to track how many first time gun buyers bought a firearm from a friend or relative here . California’s gun laws are a joke and a complete failure but don’t tell thier idiot governor the facts he is way too stupid to understand freedom and rights. Gavin Newsome is a tyrant pile of shit .


M454 – most of the free states have no restrictions on private sales, except for the seller having to verify that the buyer is legally allowed to buy – via state driver’s license etc. (I’m sure you already knew that) The numbers cited by Dean are from FFLs who have to insure that the buyer is legally allowed to make the purchase and fill out the 4473 and retain the info in their bound book. If the number of actual sales could be determined I am sure that it would give the antis even worse nightmares than they already have… Read more »


Acquiring a legal firearm in California is quite a feat. After submitting the initial paperwork until the 2 week marathon is complete on pick up day the buyer/applicant has conformed to nearly 400 combined gun laws.


Led – and ‘oddly’ enough criminals don’t seem to have the least difficulty getting guns illegally whenever they want one. Like the bandit who shot up a gathering in Sacramento a few months back. Why, one would think that criminals simply don’t follow existing laws.

Monkey Mouse

I’m in commie NJ – we went from 1.5M gun owners to over 2.5M in less than 3 years. Here’s the interesting part – most new owners are women and minorities that vote Democrat 90% of the time, guess they saw the light. Keep in mind that you need to get an FID card before even browsing to purchase – normal times it take up to 60 days from start to finish, COVID pushed that to 6 months for many towns. Also keep in mind that you would need a pistol permit to purchase a handgun – those were taking… Read more »

Boris Badenov

Do not count on the new owners being intelligent enough to connect the dots from their passed stupidity of voting D and their need for protection.

Monkey Mouse

Exactly what we long time Republican voting gun owners are saying…


Democrat propaganda has been drumming in “facts” that most gun owners are republican, most republicans are violent extremists, and assorted other “info” that leads their faithful to believe republicans (1) are a threat (2) must be countered.

So don’t count on previous democrat voters to vote any other way just because they’ve bought a gun. They bought it in order to shoot you – and would vastly prefer to have armed governmental agents disarm or kill you over keeping their shiny new (unfired) toy.


Many who choose to live in Progressive Utopias like California remain oblivious to the hyper-regulatory environment of these places because they do not experience direct impact of oppressive regulation and legislation. But when they do plug your ears because they will screech like a wounded coyote. Most Californians are oblivious to the limits placed on their neighbors until they join their neighbors. This is the foundation of the Not In MY Back Yard (NIMBY) mentality of those on the left. Windmills are great in Arizona, not off of Cape Cod. Swarms of illegals are just fine if kept in Arizona.… Read more »