The firearms industry had its best year ever as concerns over safety due to the coronavirus crisis, and political battles drove a 60% spike, according to the leading gun trade group.
In its final analysis of FBI background checks, the National Shooting Sports Foundation estimated gun sales at about 21 million, a huge 34% jump over the previous record set in 2016, another year where politics helped to drive sales.
Unique to last year was the surge in sales to first-time gun buyers, women, and blacks.
The group’s analysis said, “8.4 million people bought a firearm for the first time in 2020. That’s 40% of all purchases. This year’s buyer is increasingly diverse too. Forty percent of 2020’s buyers were women and the biggest increase of any demographic category was among African Americans, who bought guns at a rate of 58% greater than in 2019.”