One of the defining trends during the COVID-19 lockdowns was the enormous rise in gun purchases across the country. Households all over realized the necessity to protect themselves, as police forces tried to limit contact with the public in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Background checks in March set a new record with over 3.7 million background checks being performed. That’s particularly impressive since March saw lockdowns in many areas for only half the month. Background checks fell to 2.9 million in April, a still impressive figure, before rebounding again to over 3 million in May.
An even more impressive figure is that for adjusted background checks, i.e. background check numbers removing background checks for concealed carry permit applications or checks for concealed carry databases. Those numbers were nearly 1.6 million in May, a 75% increase from May 2019.
Many of those buying guns have been first-time gun buyers, who realized once police departments stopped responding to theft and burglary calls that they had to rely on themselves for their own security. And the numbers are even more impressive when you factor in that many states tried to shut down gun dealers and gun stores, considering them “non-essential.”
With riots spreading all over the country now in the aftermath of George Floyd’s killing, can we expect background checks to continue rising? With the looting and rioting we saw in Minneapolis, New York, and Los Angeles, with police forces being ordered in many cases to stand down and allow theft and property damage, many more Americans realize that they can’t rely on the government to keep them safe. Many millions of Americans are finally waking up to the fact that they are the only ones who can guarantee their security, and they’re buying more guns so that should they ever need to, they can keep themselves and their families safe from harm.