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Almost Five Million Americans Have Become Gun Owners in the First Half of 2020

Almost Five Million Americans Have Become Gun Owners in the First Half of 2020

“This is a tectonic shift in the firearm and ammunition industry marketplace and complete transformation of today’s gun-owning community”

The combination of the Coronavirus pandemic shutdowns and the riots which followed have essentially rendered gun control a moot issue for a generation.

We have previously written about the surge in gun sales, but now we have a clearer picture of the numbers.

When it comes to issues of firearms, Stephen Gutowski is one of the most knowledgeable journalists working today.

He writes at the Washington Free Beacon:

Nearly Five Million Americans Became Gun Owners in First Half of 2020

Nearly five million Americans became first-time gun owners in 2020, according to a new report.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the gun industry’s trade group, estimates that 17.1 million guns have been sold between January and August with 4.84 million Americans purchasing their first guns. The sales—especially to new owners—represent a significant shift in American attitudes on gun ownership.

“This is a tectonic shift in the firearm and ammunition industry marketplace and complete transformation of today’s gun-owning community,” Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF senior vice president and general counsel, said in a statement.

Wex Gunworks in Delray Beach, Fla., has been “slammed” with demand from first-time buyers, according to owner Brandon Wexler. Wexler attributed the surge—which threatened to cause supply shortages—to uncertainty fostered by the coronavirus pandemic and rioting in cities across the country.

“Since the eruption of Covid-19 and the age of protests new gun owners have flocked to the shop to buy firearms, accessories, and get firearms training,” Wexler told the Washington Free Beacon. “We were slammed up through about six weeks ago, then inventory dried up from a manufacturing standpoint.”

Democrats often bring up the subject of hunting when discussing the Second Amendment, but as we have seen over the last six months, it is self-protection which motivates more people to exercise their constitutional rights.

David Harsanyi of National Review notes that gun sales would probably be even higher right now if gun sellers could keep up with demand. He also ponders the political implications of this:

It’ll be interesting to see the long-term political implications of this surge. The 2020 Democratic ticket is the first in history to feature a candidate that has explicitly called for the confiscation of firearms. One imagines many of these first-time buyers aren’t hobbyists, but rather people who felt the need to arm themselves for self-defense — either because of the coronavirus crisis, the rioting and lawlessness, or the “defund the police” efforts. If Joe Biden wins the presidency, gun sales are sure to keep spiking.

Any Democrat who raises gun control as an issue going forward should be immediately reminded of the surge in gun sales we are seeing today. It proves Americans value their ability to protect themselves and their families.

Featured image via YouTube.


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“Why do you need guns?” – asked the angry mob with a guillotine.

I wonder how many of these first time owners had anti-gun views before? I’d say they can’t be counted on as ally in the future when it matters.

    tom_swift in reply to southtexas. | August 29, 2020 at 5:09 pm

    I wonder how many of them still do. To good Leftoids, my rights are my rights, but your rights are up for negotiation.

    Close The Fed in reply to southtexas. | August 29, 2020 at 9:11 pm

    I never felt a desire for a gun, although I certainly support the 2nd Amendment.

    But recently, I purchased my first. I’m over 50. Was in the Army, got my Sharpshooter rating…. but never felt a need.

    It takes time and money and I had no interest. Times, they are a’changin’…

    Fiftycaltx in reply to southtexas. | August 30, 2020 at 8:43 am

    And how many more new gun owners would there be if certain slave states didn’t require prior government permission before you could exercise your RIGHT to even buy a gan? Illinoise requires a Firearm Owner ID card before you can buy a gun. 90-180 day wait. Earlier, the good governor had declared the bureaucrats that processed the permits were not “essential” so ZERO FOID’s were issued. New Germany did the same thing. N. Carolina Sheriff sued TWICE over not handing out pistol permits within the required by law 14 days. Without these impediments wno knows how many more new gun owners there would be. The only solace I get is I would love to have a video of a anti-gunner showing up at a gun store because his block is being looted. He thinks it’s easier to buy a Big Mac to buy a gun. Then he gets there and the sales guy tells him to get government permission first and the guy finds out it’s going to be 6 months until he can even LOOK at a gun to buy. That would be priceless.

      The Friendly Grizzly in reply to Fiftycaltx. | August 30, 2020 at 10:16 am

      I recall the says of mail-order long guns, or being able to walk into a hardware store and buy a handgun and ammunition as easily as buying a lock set or a pound of nails. The odd thing was: we had FAR less violence back then.

    ConserveLiberty in reply to southtexas. | August 30, 2020 at 11:36 pm

    The tell will come if/when the NSSF releases a report of the change in Handgun and Long Gun Training courses completed by new gun owners at member facilities, followed by a report of the issuance of new of CCW permits on a six-month-trailing basis. It remains to be seen whether all these guns end up forgotten in a closet or drawer.

    There are Plenty of people who like my wife and me have always supported the right of others to bear arms didn’t bear arms themselves. Like us, they might not have been raised in a hunting family, weren’t ever in military service, or weren’t LEO’s. Some of those people, like us, have awakened to realize that we had best exercise our rights ourselves, now, before we lose the practical ability so to do.

    We accept that exercising the right comes with an obligation to be well trained and practiced in the use of the arms we have the right to bear.

2smartforlibs | August 29, 2020 at 4:56 pm

Gotta love the left telling you you don’t need a gun, next defund the cops. Why do you need a lib in office?

    amatuerwrangler in reply to 2smartforlibs. | August 29, 2020 at 7:25 pm

    These are the same brain-donors who, not that long ago, were telling us that we shouldn’t have guns. That only the military and the police should have guns. And more recently the police have have been labelled racist killers and should be defunded. So I guess its now only the military… but they are bad and caused all that violence in Portland, or something…

    Who knows what they will do next. The left has really gone off the rails.

Singer-songwriter Meredith Brooks is calling out Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti for the city’s permissive attitude toward crime, saying that it has forced her friends to buy guns to protect themselves

    Garcetti is a world-class moron, and probably the worst mayor this side of Lori Lightfoot and Bill Di Blasio.

    The only reason he survives unmolested is that the city seem seems to have enough well-oiled bureaucratic institutions run itself without Garcetti being asleep at the switch – or bowing to rioters, with his mask on.

    He has dealt the city a potentially fatal blow by his complicity in the army of lunatics, junkies and criminals living on the streets like has been seen in Calcutta. They’re not going anywhere – whether they live in a box or a hotel room. Think about the implications of that in 5 or ten years. This devastation is only going to grow.

Join the NRA.

Even if you aren’t 100% behind them on everything they do, just join the damn NRA.

That is the most powerful political message you can ever send to governments.

We have the same issue here in Australia where barely 20% of shooters join the SSAA (our shooting and lobbying club), some preferring to join one of the fringe lobby groups that ‘fight harder’ but without any practical political acumen; most just prefer to sit back and complain to themselves and three mates!

I asked online a while back if shooters would explain to me why they don’t join the NRA. The two typical answers I got were 1) They spam us too much (I have a bin on my computer and at the back door) 2) They don’t fight hard enough.

Really? I mean REALLY?

Just imagine if five million people joined the NRA this month! Do you really think that wouldn’t cause a stir in political circles?

As a bonus, you’d also be able to complain the NRA didn’t process your membership requests fast enough!

    Dusty Pitts in reply to Paul Compton. | August 29, 2020 at 7:44 pm

    And as many other pro-Second Amendment national organizations as you can afford/stomach. Also their affiliate in your state. Force multipliers FTW.

    Or Second Amendment Foundation, or Gun Owners of America. Or as many as you can.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to Paul Compton. | August 29, 2020 at 10:00 pm

    I run my own email server, and I assign every organization a unique email when I register. I started doing this when security breaches became a big issue.

    1) This allows me to immediately shut down their access to me if they misbehave.

    2) If I start receiving spam from other people I know that they either sold my email or had a security breach. Either way they are shut down.

    I joined NRA for 5 years. There was a steady barrage of shit from them, so I killed their access. When the 5 years is up, I will renew the membership, with my disable address setup, the address expiring at the end of the month. I did the same with AARP, they have no common sense.

      The Friendly Grizzly in reply to JusticeDelivered. | August 30, 2020 at 10:24 am

      The NRA was flooding my mailbox (the kind at the curb) with at least two mailings a week. All printed in color, all in odd-size, expensive-to-mail formats, and all were begging. That, along with it being more and more obvious that it’s mostly an organization for padding the Board’s pockets, and I stopped my support.

      Yes, I get a lot of mailings from USA Guns, SAF, and CCRTKABA, but, i think that, on a local level, they do far more for the dollar contributed.

barely 20% of shooters join the SSAA (our shooting and lobbying club), some preferring to join one of the fringe lobby groups that ‘fight harder’ but without any practical political acumen

One can join more than one (at least in the US, we have loads of them). I’m a dues-paying member of five.

The spamming from most of them is a bit annoying, but not a deal-breaker.

17 year old Kyle Rittenhouse took on what appeared to be at least 3 direct attackers, one armed with a handgun. He neutralized the threat from all 3 while on defense in a chaotic environment. He appeared to be trained and ready (that’s a whole other discussion). I’m not implying I could have done anything near what Kyle did. He did an amazing job saving his own life. I’ve been around firearms almost my whole life. I was trained on the M-16 more than 30 years ago. Fired countless rounds through them, it’s variants and semi-auto AR’s. That’s just one type of rifle I’m familiar with, not even going to get into handguns here. My point: there are hundreds of thousands of us out here who either made it a priority to know how to use a firearm or were trained in the military or as Peace Officers. These anarchists have absolutely no clue the world of hurt they would be in if they push too far. That’s not a threat, I don’t want violence of any kind, but they are spiraling towards getting what it is they think they want.

    krink26 in reply to CKYoung. | August 29, 2020 at 7:21 pm

    I’ve had more questions about weapons since everything started imploding. And almost every last one of them questioned my stance on weapons at some point before. Why would I need a 30 round magazine? Why multiple magazine? Etc. Now they have seen the rioting and mobbing. I’m more than happy to help these people out but I have a level of unease about the lack of training. These are the same people who once knew so much about guns that they were willing to trample my rights. Now they’re actually holding a weapon.

    That does bring up a point. In a year or two when Kyle has most of this behind him, I’m fairly sure the Left will have him on ‘Their List’ still. Any school he attends, any career he pursues, will be subject to barrages of paid protesters screeching on TV and demanding he be expelled/fired, save one.

    Would dismissed charges like this interfere with his ability to join the USMC or any branch of the Military police? He seems to have the judgement in tense situations that would be important for such careers.

      Or maybe worse. The left has shown they have no regard for human life.
      The two idiots that got killed chased Kyle who had an AR style rifle. Kind of like the human wave assaults of previous wars by the communists.

      And by the way, don’t fall for any other fund requests for Kyle. The only one that is real is this one:

      Set up by Lin Wood and a couple others.

      Barry in reply to georgfelis. | August 29, 2020 at 9:21 pm

      “Would dismissed charges like this interfere with his ability to join the USMC or any branch of the Military police?”


5,000,000 new gun owners, four have attended any training or familiarization….the secondary market in a year will be great….a lot like Y2K

whenever have been confronted by an armed opponent, have never wondered whether they were qualified on the weapon-they presented an immediate threat and were dealt with as such

similarly, hordes of hoodrats, soyboys and butt-ugly women such as populate the ranks of blm/antifa/fascists, will have to consider the same or the very real chance of getting wasted

My house has accounted for five of those guns and four of the new gun owners – who are still trying to get into training classes, what with the heavy demand.

BierceAmbrose | August 30, 2020 at 12:45 am

Rented. One hopes each sale includes: “You know, I can sell younthis, but you’re only gonna keep it until the D’s get themselves elected. You get that, right?”

Richard Aubrey | August 30, 2020 at 5:34 am

It was reported last year that Michigan issued over 700k deer permits, the bulk being rifles, and not bows or black powder.
That’s a lot of people who already own rifles, who think they can hit what they aim at, can move through the woods if only to their deer blind.
As my father remarked years ago, that’s more riflemen than on the Eastern Front in WW II.
And there are a lot of people who can hit what they aim at with pretty much anything but are partial to having the government pay for their ammo and range time and don’t care for venison.
In the past month, I’ve encountered four new gun owners. Two live in downtown–forget the name of the city, honest–where there was some Floyd fuss. Got pistols and licenses to carry.
Two others, circumstances unkown, going to a licensing class and to get advice on where to get ammo for their new purchases.

These people are gunowners of convenience. When things die down most of them will happily go along with whatever gun control scheme comes their way. It’s for the children, after all.

I think that people went to the trouble and expense of buying a brand new gun are not going to let the government take their new toy away.