October 05, 2021
U.S. gun buyers don’t seem to be slowing down their year-and-a-half-long purchasing spree, with Americans already buying more firearms in 2021 than were purchased the entire pre-Covid year of 2019, according to latest figures from the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF).
“September’s strong showing of over 1.3 million background checks conducted for the sale of a firearm already tops totals seen in 2019, with three months still remaining,” said Mark Oliva, NSSF director of public affairs. “To date, over 13.7 million background checks have been completed for a firearm sale, topping 2019’s total of nearly 13.2 million. September also saw firearm sales continue an incremental month-over-month climb, with over 20,000 more background checks for gun sales than were recorded in August 2021.”
September 2021 figures of 1.3 million were the second strongest for the month on record, surpassed only by September 2020, when 1.6 million background checks for firearm sales were conducted. In 2019, the last year before the pandemic and widespread social unrest began, the total was 1 million. And while the 13.7 million gun sales through September are lower than last year’s total during that time period, it far surpasses the 9.2 million checks for the first nine months of 2019.
According to Oliva, gun sales often climb during the fall, with hunters outfitting themselves for the upcoming hunting seasons. Plus, reports of rising violent crime throughout the United States have many on edge—fearing for their own safety and looking for the means to protect themselves and their families.
Though not a direct correlation to firearms sales, the NSSF-adjusted NICS data provide an additional picture of current market conditions and the continued increase in sales. In addition to other purposes, NICS is used to check transactions for sales or transfers of new or used firearms.
Sales numbers remaining high have many within the industry wondering just how long the trend will continue. As for NSSF’s Oliva, he thinks 2021 just might end up being the best sales year ever, with the exception of 2020.
“Each month since April 2021 has registered as the second strongest month on record for gun sale background checks, only behind 2020, when 21 million background checks were recorded,” Oliva said. “At this pace, 2021 could be the second strongest year for firearm sales ever recorded.”
Freelance writer and editor Mark Chesnut is the owner/editorial director at Red Setter Communications LLC. An avid hunter, shooter and political observer, he has been covering Second Amendment issues and politics on a near-daily basis for more than 20 years.