First-time gun sales shoot up amid tumultuous 2020

First-time gun sales shoot up amid tumultuous 2020


First-time gun sales shot up to record levels this year as more Americans armed themselves in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic and massive civil unrest — and a heated and contentious presidential race that some fear could erupt in violence.

Gun industry analysts and trade groups say first-time purchases for firearms skyrocketed to more than double the national average from past years, with 40 percent of all gun sales this year attributed to newbie owners.

Jon Barker, CEO of Sportsman’s Warehouse Holdings, estimated that 5 million people bought firearms for the first time in the first seven months of 2020, while the FBI National Instant Criminal Background Check System said activity through the end of September is up 41 percent this year over the same period in 2019.

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In all, the 28.8 million background checks through the end of September already surpassed last year’s record total of 28.4 million — with eight of the top 10 weeks ever

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