Americans reportedly exercised their Second Amendment right to buy and own firearms in record numbers for the fifth straight month in July.
It’s a silver lining during a challenging year, one which has seen civil liberties challenged by elected officials and the personal safety of law-abiding citizens thrown into doubt as leftist politicians have fanned the flames of division across the country.
In March, early on in the coronavirus pandemic, Americans responded by buying firearms in record numbers.
For that month, 3,740,688 background checks were conducted by the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS, which was first implemented in 1998.
That record didn’t hold for long. In June, a month which saw nationwide riots, the bureau conducted 3,931,607 background checks, which was a 70 percent increase from the same month in 2019.
In July, the surge in firearm sales and background check inquiries continued as Americans rushed to exercise a right which has been challenged by the rhetoric of Democrats for decades.
The FBI announced that in July, 3,639,224 NICS background checks were conducted by the bureau.
For comparison, that’s up significantly from the 2,030,661 background checks conducted in July 2019.
In fact, prior to last month, the previous July record for NICS background checks occurred in 2016, when the FBI ran 2,197,169 checks.
While background checks do not always necessarily translate into gun sales, last month reportedly did see a record number of guns sold when compared to previous months of July.
“July 2020 saw an estimated 1,795,602 gun sales — a new record and an increase of 133 percent over July 2019, according to a Washington Free Beacon analysis of FBI data. July is the fifth consecutive month to set a gun-sales record,” the Washington Free Beacon reported.
Some estimated pegged the number of guns sold last month to be even more than 1.7 million. According to Small Arms Analytics & Forecasting, which tracks gun sales and background check information, for July, all those background checks resulted in 2 million additional guns legally in the hands of Americans.
As a case in point, the Free Beacon reported on the scope of Ruger’s success amid a sudden frenzy to buy firearms.
“Sturm, Ruger & Company announced in its quarterly earnings call on Thursday that net sales had moved from $210,367,000 in the first six months of 2019 to $253,903,000 during the same period in 2020. That equated to diluted earnings per share of $1.06 in 2020 compared with $.36 in 2019 — a threefold increase,” according to the Free Beacon.
Undeterred by reported shortages, Americans are recognizing the importance of the Second Amendment, and they’re arming themselves.
In my little corner of the world in urban Oklahoma, the dozens of gun shops I visited in July were short on both guns and ammunition.
On July 30, I visited a popular big box sporting goods retailer.
I noted a total of five .22 LR caliber rifles for sale, one .410 shotgun in stock and two small caliber handguns underneath the glass.
There were a mere four boxes of .30 Carbine ammunition on shelf and a limited number of gun cleaning kits.
“No 9mm in stock,” I heard a man behind the gun counter tell a disappointed woman.
Ammunition for the AR-15 platform rifles, .223/5.56, was unavailable at every location I visited.
But despite shortages in my corner of the world, others fared far better in arming themselves, as the numbers for July indicate.
CNN reported the number of background checks particularly surged in the states of Illinois, Kentucky, Texas, Florida and California.
Citing data from the National Shooting Sports Foundation, Fox News reported that 2.5 million Americans have purchased firearms for the first time in their lives in 2020.
Many of those first-time buyers have also signed up for training classes in order to learn to safely use their weapons.
The sudden interest in the Second Amendment is a profoundly American reaction to a series of un-American problems.
Amid challenges to their liberty and an inundation of anti-police rhetoric, Americans are turning inward for answers to a perceived deficit in law and order, taking ownership of their safety by designating themselves as their own protectors.
In a perfect world, none of the country’s recent and historic issues would have occurred.
But faced with the reality that individual liberty and safety are in question, information from the FBI and SAAF indicates that Americans are taking measures to exercise their rights, and many of them are doing it safely.
It could be an indicator of things to come in November.
It’s hard to imagine that record numbers of individuals purchasing firearms intend to vote for the party of defunding police departments and leaving families and business owners to fend for themselves.
The election has essentially become a binary choice between safety, liberty and law and order, versus leftist mob rule.
Five months of record gun sales are a strong signal that polls which purport to show Biden leading Trump by wide margins might be off the mark.
The RealClearPolitics national polling average currently favors Biden by 7.4 percentage points.
The sudden and continued interest in purchasing firearms, especially by first-time buyers, could be more evidence that Trump is faring far better than pollsters would have you believe.
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