It’s no longer surprising each month when the FBI issues its monthly report of the number of National Instant Check System background checks they’ve done the previous month. Since the beginning of the pandemic — and then accelerating in may when social unrest spread nationwide — Americans have been buying guns faster than any time in history.
The National Shooting Sports hasn’t yet come out with their official adjusted background check number that’s a good indicator of gun sales for September (the FBI’s NICS totals do not equal gun sales) but the NSSF’s Mark Oliva told us this:
NSSF’s September 2020 adjusted NICS figures are 1.6 million, a 61 percent increase over September 2019, where figures came in at just over 1 million. This elevated trend is in keeping with what the firearm industry has witnessed since March, when adjusted NICS figures topped 2.3 million, an all-time one-month record.
Since then, NICS figures have been between 1.6 and 2.1 million. At this pace, it is possible we could witness more than 20 million background checks for the sale of a firearm in 2020, widely eclipsing the strongest year on record of 2016, when 15.7 million background checks were conducted for the sale of firearm.
This indicates that there is a continued desire for Americans to exercise their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. It’s plausible that this number could actually have been higher, but inventories are low due to months of sustained high demand.
This has been a year unlike any other, where law-abiding Americans are seeing for themselves the need to be able to protect themselves and their families. September also brought with it increased attention by voters to the two presidential candidates. It cannot be discounted that threats by Joe Biden to confiscate, ban, register and regulate out of existence the firearms American want the most are driving sales.
Background checks for firearm sales typically rise during election years in response to threats of gun control. As previously stated, this is a year unlike any other and voters are faced with a choice unlike any other. On one hand is a candidate who has stood for preserving Second Amendment rights. On the other, is a candidate who is on the record as backing forcible confiscation of lawfully owned firearms. The biggest threat to Second Amendment rights today is Joe Biden and gun buyers are reacting to that threat.