Originally posted on July 14, 2020.
You know that I always believe it is best to get your guns and your training now. That’s what millions of Americans are doing, many of them for the first time in their lives. The Wall Street Journal reports on record gun sales, writing:
Americans are buying guns in record numbers.
The new coronavirus pandemic, civil unrest after the killing of George Floyd and the ensuing movement to defund police are bringing in new buyers worried about their personal safety, according to buyers, store owners and gun experts.
Gun sales began rising to unusual highs in March, as coronavirus cases began surging in the U.S. and government-ordered lockdowns led to the highest unemployment levels since the Great Depression. The Federal Bureau of Investigation processed 7.8 million background checks for gun purchases from March to June, according to National Shooting Sports Foundation, a firearms industry trade group.
In June, background checks for firearms were up 136%, compared to a year earlier, according to the trade group, which gives the best proxy for gun sales. Background checks in June for civilians seeking a license to carry were the highest since the FBI began conducting checks 20 years ago.
Background checks for guns in Georgia tripled last month versus last year, according to NSSF data, and have more than doubled in Oklahoma, New York, Illinois and Minnesota.
Last month in Minneapolis, the city where Mr. Floyd, a Black man, was killed by a white policeman, the line for gun permits was three hours long on Juneteenth, with a racially diverse group standing in line to obtain a permit.
Craig Geske, 57 years old, said he was applying for a permit because he is afraid the police in his area aren’t able to protect him. “I don’t want to ever shoot anybody ever,” he said. “But if I had to duck and shoot back in self-defense, at least I’d have a chance.”
Dealers estimate that 40% of sales are going to first-time buyers, an increase over the normal average of about a quarter, according to an NSSF survey.
During most big sales increases, buyers tend to be gun aficionados or Second Amendment supporters. But this time, sales of handguns, which are used for personal safety, are the strongest.
Nearly two handguns, commonly used for self-protection, are being sold for every rifle or shotgun, according to federal data. In the past, the biggest surges in gun sales were fueled by rushes on AR-15 style rifles that Second Amendment activists feared might be banned by the government, such as after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in 2012.
“With the pandemic, it’s driven more by fear for personal safety; it’s people who haven’t been interested in the past,” said Jacquelyn Clark, co-owner of Bristlecone Shooting, Training and Retail Center in Lakewood, Colo.
When I read stories of mass numbers of new gun owners, it gives me hope that Americans are taking responsibility for their own safety. But I also pause to consider whether or not those new gun owners are going to get the training they need to be responsible with their firearms.
You have been asking me a lot lately about firearms training. You want training in your area.
You know that I have enjoyed my training at the Sig Sauer Academy in Epping, New Hampshire. There I have learned many of the skills necessary to be a safe and effective firearms owner. But not everyone can make the trip to New Hampshire.
If you are hunting for training, a good first stop is the NRA’s website. The NRA offers a great mix of online training, and on-the-ground courses for new firearms owners.
You can also reach out to your local shooting ranges and gun clubs for ideas about training. Many of them have in-house training programs or hold special events with featured instructors.
If you are a new gun owner, don’t stop at simply owning a gun. Get some training, especially on gun safety. You don’t have to shoot like a SEAL sniper, but you should definitely know the four rules of gun safety.
If you are serious about surviving, make sure you sign up for my monthly Survive and Thrive newsletter by clicking here. Again, only if you’re serious.
Here’s a video of some of the training available at Sig Sauer Academy.
E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
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