April was another big month for FBI National Instant Check System (NICS) background checks, and even when adjusted by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, it looks like U.S. citizens are still buying plenty of firearms.
But a Washington Post-University of Maryland poll shows a majority of Americans (70 percent) are opposed to re-opening gun stores, which appear to be still operating over most of the country.
According to the FBI data, last month saw 2,911,128 background checks initiated, which is a record for the month of April. March saw even more NICS checks, at 3,740,688. Neither number translates to one-for-one gun sales.
The NSSF adjusted data shows 1,678,223 checks that were probably linked to actual gun sales, representing a 69.1 percent increase over April 2019.
The WaPo survey asked about re-opening eight kinds of businesses. A whopping 82 percent don’t approve of re-opening movie theaters, 74 percent are against reopening nail salons and 78 percent are opposed to allowing gyms to reopen. In many states, gun stores have gotten creative in how to keep their doors open and serve their customers, including a fair number of new gun buyers.
Yet there have been noisy demonstrations around the country where citizens are defying stay-home orders and demanding that businesses reopen. Shut downs have been going on for more than six weeks across the country, and as the weather has improved, it is obvious the public is not willing to stay inside any longer.
The Washington Post-university of Maryland survey was conducted April 28-May 3 with a random telephone sampling of 1,005 adults. The margin of error is +/- 5 percent.
According to The Week, the survey also revealed 78 percent of survey respondents would “feel uncomfortable going out to eat at a restaurant.”
But it’s the gun shop reaction that raises questions about the survey. With record NICS checks initiated over the past month providing a strong indication that people still want to buy firearms and ammunition, where else do survey respondents think they’re going to obtain those products?
The United States Concealed Carry Association (USCCA) reported Tuesday in a news release there has been “unprecedented demand for more self-defense training and legal protection resources” from the organization, based in West Bend, Wis.
“The USCCA now boasts more than 350,000 members after experiencing its second-highest growth rate in company history last April, surpassing even the boom in membership it saw in March,” the release noted.
“The USCCA’s mission is to provide self-defense training and legal protection to responsible gun owners,” the group added.
USCCA said it had experienced an increase of more than 30 percent year-over-year growth since 2016.