The National Shooting Sports Foundation is reporting that so far, 2020 is a record-breaking year for gun sales, and that is based on “NSSF-adjusted” background check data from the FBI’s National Instant Check System (NICS), which just posted a raw number of more than 3.3 million such checks initiated over the past month.
According to the NICS data, October saw 3,305,465 background checks initiated, covering not only gun sales but other purposes requiring a background check.
But NSSF, the firearms industry umbrella organization, October’s figures linked to gun sales was 1,769,553, up 60.1 percent over the October 2019 NSSF-adjusted figure of 1,105,335.
According to Mark Oliva, NSSF director of public affairs, “This much is clear as we head into Election Day. Americans of all political persuasions are exercising their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms and doing so in record numbers. This hasn’t been a phenomenon of just red states, but also blue states. Never before have so many Americans chosen to exercise their right to firearm ownership, including the estimated 6.9 million who purchased a firearm for the first time this year. Additionally, this has been a sustained period of firearm sales since March. This is clearly not a one-off event.”
What’s behind the huge spike in gun sales over the past ten months? It’s an election year, with an avowed anti-gunner running as the Democrat party’s nominee, supported by a running mate who is even worse on gun rights. Joe Biden, during his career on Capitol Hill, invariably supported and often sponsored gun control measures. Kamala Harris enforced California gun control laws as that state’s attorney general before succeeding Barbara Boxer in the U.S. Senate.
The Biden-Harris gun control plan includes bans on the future manufacture and sale of so-called “assault rifles,” treating the ones already privately owned as subject to the National Firearms Act, and licensing and registration. They want “universal background checks” on all firearm transfers, waiting periods and one-gun-per-month limits. If they win the election, and the Senate flips to Democrat control, the Second Amendment is in trouble, say rights activists.
On the other hand, Trump has fulfilled his campaign promise to balance the federal courts and bring a degree of parity that had been lacking. He has filled nearly 300 vacancies in the federal court system all the way up to three slots on the Supreme Court, a fact that cannot be over-stated.
According to Oliva, “Unfortunately, today’s gun buyers were given proof throughout the year of why self-defense rights are critical. Coronavirus pandemic measures forced police off the streets for fear of spreading infection and governors released violent prisoners for the same reasons, some of whom were rearrested within days for other violent crimes. Protests quickly turned violent and destructive, even as gun control politicians watched and did nothing. Riots spilled from our urban centers into the suburbs. Certain municipalities called for, and acted upon, movements to defund police and deny the most vulnerable citizens the protection they deserve. Those violent episodes continue and we are witnessing metropolitan areas brace for continued violence.”
The election result may be a few days away, but in the meantime, the gun vote could play a major role, and rights groups are urging all gun owners to vote.