FBI: Firearm background checks soar to record high in March as Biden readies widespread gun control

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Law Enforcement Today has continuously reported on the record high gun sales and background checks month after month in the United States. 

Prior to Biden’s inauguration, the purchase of firearms skyrocketed, with many fearing the Democratic President would follow through on his promise of tearing apart the Second Amendment. 

While January broke the record for the most background checks for firearm purchases, March has now surpassed that with nearly 4.7 million background checks taking place, according to newly released FBI data

February 2021 saw approximately 3.44 million background checks, which means that March has seen a 36% increase from that. Additionally, in March of 2020, almost one-million less background checks took place in comparison to March of 2021.

While the number of background checks does not necessarily result in the purchase of firearms, there has been a strong correlation between the two since the FBI began keeping records in November 1998.

Of the top 10 days for most background checks, six were in March 2021, according to FBI data, including the top three days.

Following deadly mass shootings in Atlanta and Boulder, Colorado, gun sales soared and five of the top days occurred following either one or both shootings, U.S. News reported.

The FBI’s data shows that Illinois had the most background checks conducted in the month of March, with more than 1.4 million. The state that had that second most background checks was Kentucky, which saw 330,476 checks.

There may be many contributing factors to the increase in background checks and firearm purchases. With riots ramping up again, many may be taking precautionary steps to protect themselves after the chaos that took place across the country last summer.

Additionally, the increase in the number of mass shootings taking place lately, coupled with the fact that on March 11th, the House Democrats passed a pair of gun-control bills that would expand background check requirements on all gun sales and transfers, may also be contributing factors.

It will be interesting to see what April’s numbers look like as we near the summer. 

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Arizona gun sales skyrocket in 2020, background checks hit record high – and there’s no sign of it slowing down

January 6, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C.- Background checks for gun purchases in Arizona reached their highest levels ever before during 2020. Experts said that these high numbers were driven by an unprecedented convergence of a pandemic, a summer of national unrest, and a presidential election.

According to FBI data, through the end of November 2020, 610,911 background checks had been performed in Arizona, compared to the 372,912 background checks done in 2019.

Kelly Drane, research director at Giffords Law Center, a gun control advocacy group, said that Arizona’s spike is part of a nationwide increase. She has estimated that there was nearly a 90 percent increase in gun sales nationally from March to October 2020.

She said that early data has indicated that a “substantial number of these purchases were made by new gun owners.” Verrachart Murphy, owner of Ammo AZ, a Phoenix gun store, said that there has been a “huge uptick in first-time buyers.” He said:

“Between the election and COVID and shutdowns and riots, it was enough to get them off the couch and come in and actually make their first purchase. People that were kind of maybe on the fence about buying a gun.”

Murphy said that his biggest spike in sales came earlier in 2020 as COVID-19 began dominating the news. His store had a 400 percent increase in sales from January 2020 to February 2020. He attributed it to anxiety about a possible pandemic-related lockdown.

He said that sales remained relatively high and then there was another spike in sales over the summer when clashes between police officers and protesters were in the news headlines.

What Murphy said tracks with the FBI data, showing that Arizona had the highest number of background checks in March, with nearly 83,000, followed by June and July, each with 74,000 and 60,000 background checks.

Since getting into the gun business back in 2013, Murphy said he has seen similar spikes usually after active-shooter incidents or mass shootings. He said that before the 2016 presidential election sales jumped in anticipation of a win by Democrat Hilary Clinton.
Reportedly, sales then tapered off once gun-friendly President Donald Trump took office. 

Sales through November 2020 were already 47 percent higher than in all of 2015, which had been the record for Arizona. Murphy said:

“It’s almost like the stock market, where something doesn’t actually have to happen to set off this market. It’s the threat of something or the potential that something happens that will trigger this market.”

If Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden takes the office on January 20th, Murphy said he expects gun sales to stay high and he expects to double last year’s net sales. He said:

“I think this is going to be for the foreseeable future with Biden in office. We saw kind of the same thing with Obama in office.”

Murphy posted a then-President Barack Obama’s picture in his store as “Employee of the Month,” saying:

“That should give you kind of an idea of, of how everybody reacts to a Democratic controlled presidency.”

Murphy said people are “buying everything.” He said:

“It doesn’t matter, whatever you can get your hands on. People are literally buying everything, handguns, rifles, shotguns. Everything is going.”

Murphy called it a “hoarding mentality” and compared it to stocking up on toilet paper and hand sanitizer at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Drane reiterated that guns are not toilet paper.

Drane said that increased gun sales have coincided with increased gun violence in U.S. cities and more calls to domestic violence and suicide hotlines. She said that such correlations are well known from previous research, but may be more dangerous during the pandemic. She said:

“The risks posed by these new firearm purchases may be particularly severe when coupled with the risks for gun violence exacerbated by the pandemic, such as economic uncertainty, unemployment, and social isolation.”

She added:

“These conditions have historically been associated with increased suicide attempts and deaths.”

Murphy said the gun-buying he has seen has been a nonpartisan exercise with liberals in his store for the first time. He also said that his neighbor in Scottsdale who he called an “uber-liberal huge Biden supporter,” bought his first gun after the unrest there during the summer.

Drane said:

“The bottom line is if you do decide to purchase a gun, we encourage you to learn about and practice safe gun storage, which is a foundational part of being a responsible gun owner.”

Gun sales, background checks see massive increases in swing states across America

September 26th, 2020

WASHINGTON D.C. – It should be no secret to anyone that the liberal democrats want to increase gun control measures.

Right, wrong, or indifferent, that is a fact. 

It should also be no surprise that legal gun sales are going through the roof.

Current Democratic Vice Presidential Nominee Kamala Harris has made it very clear that enacting stronger gun control laws is a focal point of hers.  During her failed presidential campaign, Harris said that she would ensure that tougher gun control laws were enacted within her first 100 days in office.

Now, to be completely fair, she did say that she would give Congress 100 days to enact new gun control measures.  However, if they were not to her liking or if Congress did not act fast enough for her, she would impose the new restrictions by executive order, within her first 100 days in office.

Now, thankfully, she lost miserably in her presidential campaign, but now, she has a real shot at becoming the next Vice President if current Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden wins the general election in the next few weeks.  

With that same line of thinking, many Americans are concerned that they will no longer be able to buy certain guns and/or ammunition.  That coupled with the ongoing civil unrest throughout some of the United States, Americans are going to the gun stores and stocking up.

As a result of the increased sales, specifically in seven swing states, gun dealers are reporting an almost 80% increase in purchases nationwide.  Those swing states are, according to Fox News, Arizona, Michigan, Florida, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. 

In addition to gun sales, ammunition sales are also surging, showing a reported 139% increase during the first part of 2020 according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation

Fox News reported that the FBI processed 93% more background checks throughout the nation from March until July of this year as compared to 2019.  Some of these sales could be because, as noted, Harris and Biden both have proposed stricter gun laws if they are elected.

The CEO of Mahoney Asset Management, Ken Mahoney, spoke to Fox News regarding the upcoming election and spike in gun sales.  He said:

“The swing states will be pivotal to the result of this election. If the polls are anything to go by, it already looks tight, but Florida, Pennsylvania and Michigan are definitely ones to watch.

“These states had a margin of victory of less than 1% in 2016, so each campaign is sure to increase their focus on these areas over the next 41 days.

“This issue is important for many Americans, and this is shown in the recent spike in gun sales as people fear the sale of firearms will be banned if Biden were to win.”

For those that are looking at the gun sales increases a good sign that people do not want Biden and Harris in office, Cristina Antelo says slow down.  Antelo, a CEO of the government and public relations firm Ferox Strategies says:

“Statistics say there is growth in gun sales in swing states, but largely these are folks who already own guns buying even more guns, not that there is a wholesale changing of public opinion after so many innocent people have died in mass shooting after mass shooting year after year.

“VP Biden, like a majority of Americans, is in favor of stricter gun laws that promote responsible gun ownership to keep our schools and public areas safe; not the removal or elimination of guns.”

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