As the coronavirus started making its way across the country, people started to prepare for the unknown. Not only did people stock up on toilet paper, but guns and ammo were also on the shopping list. Resulting in a record-breaking month of sales.
Fox News broke down the number:
“The NICS system ran 3,740,688 background checks in March, which is 33 percent higher than the previous record of more than 2.8 million, which was set in February. The February numbers were a 34 percent uptick from the same time in 2019. The NICS system has not run fewer than 2 million background checks in one month since September 2018.”
Not all NICS checks are for firearms, some get ran for other reasons, but there were about 2.3 million background checks run in March directly connected to gun sales.
Making March 2020 the month with the second most gun sales of all time. The most came in January 2013, just after President Barack Obama’s re-election and the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
We are living in uncertain times, people want reassurance that they will be able to protect themselves and their families if things really collapse. This reasoning was echoed by a law professor from Georgia State University.
“People are nervous that there’s a certain amount of civil disorder that might come if huge numbers of people are sick and a huge number of institutions are not operating normally,” said Timothy Lytton, a law professor at Georgia State University and an expert on the gun industry. “They may have an anxiety about protecting themselves if the organs of state are starting to erode.”
Not everyone is happy about the surge in sales. The Brady campaign issued a statement claiming the surge in gun sales would make the country less safe and bemoaned the fact that the Trump administration made the right decision and declared gun stores essential businesses.
“As a result of fears stoked by the National Rifle Association (NRA) and other gun-industry groups, we saw more federal background checks initiated in Marcy 2020 than any other on record,” Brady President Kris Brown said in a statement. “This boon for gun industry profits is a threat to public safety and is even more troubling given the Trump Administration’s recent guidance that gun stores should be designated ‘essential’ and remain open during this crisis.”
The NRA rightfully responded by state the simple fact that people have the right to protect themselves.
“Nothing is more important than the ability to protect ourselves and our loved ones, especially during uncertain times,” Amy Hunter, the NRA’s director of public relations, told Fox News. “The NRA remains vigilant as anti-gun lawmakers attempt to exploit the pandemic to pursue gun control. We will take any action necessary to ensure the American people can defend their families.”
In uncertain times the 2nd amendment is even more important. People need to be able to take care of themselves and can not count on the government to protect them.