The events that have made up the year 2020 have been shocking and concerning, from global pandemics to civil unrest. And it’s only August.
When faced with uncertain times, we look to protect ourselves, our families, and our loved ones. That’s why it’s not surprising that gun sales in the United States have soared beginning in March of this year.
What kinds of guns are Americans buying? And who is buying them?
Handgun Sales Grow 152%
It’s not just that gun sales have grown over the few months of this year, it’s the staggering growth that makes it newsworthy. And while handgun sales have had the largest surge, long guns are having their day, as well.
In year over year comparisons, handgun sales in July of 2020 were 152% higher than they were in the same month in 2019. Amazingly, July isn’t the month with the largest increase in sales, either. Both March and June of 202 saw the purchase of 1.5 million handguns, compared to 800,000 and 500,000 in the same respective months in 2019.
As noted, long guns are also in high demand. In July, 600,000 long-guns were sold, with nearly 700,000 in June and an impressive 835,000 in March.
Of course, concealed carry permits have increased, too, as well as the associated accessories that make carrying a concealed weapon easier. For instance, Indiana, who recently waived their fees for a 5-year license saw a 10-fold increase in permit applications in the first 8 days after the fee was dropped. This included the concealed carry license type.
These new gun owners, and those who will be carrying a concealed weapon for the first time, are looking for the best way to concealed carry. Whether owners are looking for a traditional or belt clip style holster, some are having a hard time finding them as dealers run short of inventory. And as online sales continue to grow during the pandemic, it’s no surprise that many people are turning to e-commerce gun accessory merchants, too.
A Diverse Group of Gun Owners
The “look” of the U.S. gun owner has been shifting for some time, but the events of 2020 have created a quantum leap in diverse ownership. With local law enforcement stretched thin thanks to various crises, a wider demographic has turned to gun owners
For example, the National African American Gun Association has seen an additional 15,000 members join so far in 2020. Women, traditionally a minority group when it comes to gun ownership, now make up 25% of owners.
While reasons may differ slightly from group to group, there is one common thread – gun ownership provides the means to protect one’s self. A recent survey by Pew Research found that 70% of women owners say a gun is essential for their personal freedom, and 25% identify gun ownership as a means of self-protection.
As uncertainty looms over the rest of 2020, one thing is certain – Americans are taking the safety of their family and themselves into their own hands. While gun purchases may level out in the coming months, the numbers show that on the other side of this more and more people will be owning guns from now on.