For the 11th consecutive month, firearm-related background checks have surged, and according to the U.S. Concealed Carry Association, “USCCA instructors and range partners are more active than ever, training twice as many students from January to August than the organization did in all of 2019.”
The monthly raw National Instant Check System data from the FBI, November saw 3,626,335 background checks initiated. They do not all involve actual firearms transactions, however.
According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, “The November 2020 NSSF-adjusted National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) figure of 1,949,141 is an increase of 45.2 percent compared to the November 2019 NSSF-adjusted NICS figure of 1,342,155. For comparison, the unadjusted November 2020 FBI NICS figure 3,602,296 reflects a 41.5 percent increase from the unadjusted FBI NICS figure of 2,545,863 in November 2019.”
NSSF retailer surveys estimate that nearly 7.7 million people purchased a firearm for the first time in 2020, the organization said.
In a Monday news release, USCCA estimated there are now 434 million firearms in private possession across the country. That includes at least 5 million new gun owners who purchased a gun for the first time this year.
So, it came as something of a surprise to author Tom McHale, editor of American Handgunner magazine, when he received a message from Amazon last week asking him to remove advertising touting his book titled “The Practical Guide to Shooting: Handgun Edition.”
McHale was a guest on a Guns Magazine podcast hosted by Guns Editor Brent Wheat. During that conversation, McHale read the contents of the note.
“Your ad contains a product that is prohibited from advertising,” McHale recited. “This may include books that promote practices that could result in the physical or mental harm of customers.”
McHale’s book is still listed for sale on Amazon. Liberty Park Press checked Monday morning. There are several other firearms-related books also available at Amazon including two co-authored by Alan Gottlieb and Dave Workman, “Good Guys with Guns” and “Right to Carry.” Several books by self-defense expert and firearms trainer Massad Ayoob are also available.
Wheat asserted that big tech is focusing on firearms-related products.
“Free speech is under attack, very clearly,” Wheat observed.
He asserted the pressure has intensified since the November election.
With perennially anti-gun Democrat Joe Biden set to become the next president on Jan. 20, gun owners are bracing for a rough legislative ride. His gun control plan has been posted online for months, so there is no doubt the Biden administration has ambitious plans, including bans on the future manufacture and sale of so-called “assault weapons” and “high-capacity magazines.”
There could also be an effort to mandate one-gun-per-month purchase restrictions, along with requiring licensing before a firearm may be purchased.
Semi-auto rifles could end up being regulated same as fully-automatic machine guns under the Biden plan, with required licensing that could cost gun owners an estimated $34 billion, according to various sources.
All of these factors are pushing people to gun stores and training opportunities. According to USCCA, “the organization has trained an estimated 92,950 students and will certify almost twice as many new instructors this year than any single year prior.”
Over the years there has been considerable discussion about “gun safety,” so it may seem odd that a major online source for information on the subject might reject advertising for a book on the subject it happens to sell.