The FBI released their numbers for March gun sales on Wednesday and it was truly glorious. The FBI reports that they ran a record 3,740,688 NICS background checks in the thirty-one days of March.
This tops numbers from nearly every other month on record, not just every other March. It’s almost a 30% increase over last March, and that 2019 was already the second highest March ever.
But these numbers are notoriously inaccurate because in many states, gun owners who have a concealed carry permit have already passed a background check and thus don’t need to have another NICS check to buy a gun. Another reason these numbers aren’t accurate is that a single background check is good for the entire purchase of guns, even if the gun owner bought several at a time. Also, names are put into the NICS check system even if you’re simply trying to get a concealed carry permit or renew your old concealed carry permit. And this March, there were a LOT of people getting their CCW for the first time…so a lot of those NICS checks were for those new concealed carriers.
Scrubbing The Numbers To Get Hard Data
The National Shooing Sports Foundation runs an analysis of the NICS numbers every month to pull out those ‘duds’ and to try to get a more accurate number of guns sold. They remove the background checks that were run for people trying to get or renew their Concealed carry permit, etc.
The NSSF’s final number of NICS checks for March 202 was 2,375,525. Their number for March of 2019 was 1,317,114. That’s an increase of 80.4% of gun purchases over last March!
See their chart, here:
The Corona Virus Gun Buy of 2020
The data also said that five out of the “Top Ten” days for gun buying in history were in March of 2020. In fact, the only month that Americans have ever bought more guns, period, was in January of 2013, right after Obama’s reelection and just after Sandy Hook. At that time, gun owners were rightly afraid of new gun control laws.
Now, they’re worried about gun control, government over reach, the fear in the back of their minds of societal meltdown, a less-responsive police force, looters…you name it!
When President Trump’s administration said that gun stores are essential, gun owners breathed a sigh of relief…but it also confirmed their fears that things are more sideways than ever before in our lifetimes.
These New Gun Owners Going Away Anytime Soon
Tens of thousands of Americans assuming the mantle of “gun owner” for the first time in recent weeks is a good thing. Granted, not all of them will have the accompanying ideological shift that we might hope. And yes, when this all blows over, many of them will sell their guns and shake their heads that they were ever so silly as to have purchased one.
But many times more than that number will have realized from personal experience that you don’t have to be a crazy, violent person to own and carry a gun. Many gun store owners nationwide have reported much higher numbers than ever before of women and elderly folks buying guns for the first time. Those demographics may like the feeling of security and peace that comes with carrying a gun. After all, Corona aside, the world has become a crazy place in recent years.