November 2020 firearms sales hit new record

The wave of increased gun sales that followed government's response to a pandemic and unrest in some cities continued in November following the supposed election of Joe Biden.

The unadjusted figures of 1,949,141 marked an increase of 45.2 percent over 2019 - the previous record year.

However, when the data is adjusted by the National Shooting Sports Foundation by removing figures for gun permit checks and rechecks by states which use NICS for that purpose, the number of checks stands at 1,684,083 which is an increase of 51.2 percent compared to the August 2019 NSSF-adjusted NICS figure of 1,113,535.

Year-to-date, we’ve seen 19.1 million adjusted NICS checks -a record setting year for firearms sales. According to the NSSF’s Retailer Surveys, nearly 7.7 million people were first-time firearms buyers in 2020.

Though not a direct correlation to firearms sales, the NSSF-adjusted NICS data provide an additional picture of current market conditions. In addition to other purposes, NICS is used to check transactions for sales or transfers of new or used firearms. It should be noted that these statistics represent the number of firearm background checks initiated through the NICS. They do not represent the number of firearms sold or sales dollars. Based on varying state laws, local market conditions and purchase scenarios, a one-to-one correlation cannot be made between a firearm background check and a firearm sale.

So, you might ask, what does that mean? Here’s the answer from NSSF’s Director of Public Affairs, Mark Oliva:

“November background checks are in line with what we’ve seen all year long. Americans continue to purchase firearms at record pace for a variety of reasons, including concerns for personal safety, onerous gun control plans by a Biden-Harris administration and for lawful purposes including recreational shooting, hunting and self-defense.

“The fact that the pace of these sales hasn’t slowed since March shows Americans value their Second Amendment freedoms and will exercise the right to keep and bear arms of their choosing.

“Politicians looking for a mandate on firearms should examine the record setting figures Americans are posting every month with firearm sales. Americans have told their elected representatives more than 19 million times exactly where their voters stand when it comes to their rights, more than 7.5 million making that declaration publicly for the first time in their lives.”

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