There has been a big focus on the recent explosion of gun sales in the United States. And with good reason. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, gun purchases soared. FBI data showed record sales each month. Then came George Floyd’s death, civil unrest, and as the world seemingly burned, more and more people sought out their own means of protection. But what does it mean for the never-ending Second Amendment debate?
COVID-19, Riots and the Second Amendment Debate
A wave of new gun buyers has some leading experts believing the 2A fight will be changed forever.
“Look at all of the new people who suddenly decided to exercise their Second Amendment rights to keep and bear arms,” said Alan Gottlieb, Chairman, Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA). “We’ve witnessed something that is nothing short of a sea change, and in some cases might approach the level of epiphany, about gun ownership. We’ve heard anecdotal reports from all over the country about people flocking to gun shops who had never before owned a firearm. Now that they are gun owners, we expect them to be very protective of their rights.”
We reported on the numbers earlier this month with NSSF released its adjusted figures from FBI NICS checks for May. It absolutely smashed 2019, rising 75.2 percent year-over-year. April and March saw increases as well. Any way you look at it, there’s new purchasers among that group.
New Gun Owners Step Forward
We also chronicled the stories of several first-time gun buyers. Political uncertainty and worry about future availability sent many first-time gun buyers rushing to gun stores.
“I had been planning to purchase my first handgun for a few years, but I never felt like it was a necessity and therefore had trouble justifying the expense,” said Josh C., a 29-year-old first-time gun buyer in Oklahoma. “However, once the CV situation began to worsen, and as the lockdown spurred a huge increase in sales of firearms and ammo, I decided to go ahead and spend the money.”
The mess of a year that is 2020 doesn’t seem to be slowing down. The COVID-19 pandemic just regained a ton of steam in the southern states. Meanwhile, civil unrest remains at a boiling point regarding police treatment of the Black community. And on the periphery, the 2A community quietly grows.
“We’re not surprised to hear about new first-time gun buyers who have discovered how much enjoyment they get out of shooting,” Gottlieb said. “We’ve seen this with generations of new gun owners who may never have had any previous experience with firearms. Many of them discover a sense of empowerment that allows them, maybe for the first time, to understand they can take care of themselves, and that they are responsible for their own safety.”
If there’s one key takeaway in all of this, it’s the empowerment Gottlieb mentions. Empower someone, give them control of their own safety; that will prove very hard to take away. In times like these, it might just swing a public sentiment back in the favor of gun owners. It might just change the Second Amendment debate forever.