You might be one of the millions of Americans who have purchased a gun this year. If you’re reading this site, it’s even likelier. I have always encouraged you to get your guns and your training now, and millions of Americans are doing just that.
There’s nothing like nationwide protests and a murder surge in major cities to cause a spurt of new gun sales. Gun controllers may want to rethink their 2020 strategy.
The FBI’s most recent gun-sale figures are stunning. They show that in July the bureau carried out 3.6 million background checks, the third highest month on record. Adjusting to reflect checks only for gun purchases, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) says this translates to 1.8 million gun sales for July 2020—a 122% increase over July 2019. The 12,141,032 gun sales through this July is just shy of the 13,199,172 sales for all of 2019.
These record sales are best understood as a referendum on the riots, and the growing lack of confidence many Americans have that police will protect them. This is more than National Rifle Association spin.
Plenty of Democrats own guns, many of them the blue-collar Democrats who voted for Donald Trump in 2016 and whom Joe Biden hopes to woo back. Forty percent of first-time buyers are women. An NSSF survey of gun retailers reports that sales to black Americans are up 58.2% for the first six months of this year, the largest increase for any demographic group.
One question is whether this new interest in guns will change the issue of gun violence in this election year. A year ago gun controllers were on the march, as Democrats used the issue to gain control of the Virginia Legislature, which proceeded to limit handgun purchases. Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety, which helped those Virginia Democrats, is trying to pull off similar victories this year with a $60 million campaign.
The policy contrast between the presidential candidates is stark. Mr. Trump talks up the Second Amendment at every rally. Mr. Biden this year called gun manufacturers “the enemy.” In March he told a Democratic auto worker who accused him of trying to “take away our guns” that he was “full of s—.” He’d ban sales of so-called assault weapons and fine existing owners who don’t register them.
But if police are reluctant to enforce current gun laws, as in New York City, what’s the point of new limits on gun ownership? The debate has also shifted from mass shootings to public safety, especially in big cities where gun violence is rampant. The larger lesson is that if liberals won’t control crime, expect more Americans to buy guns in self-defense.
But the political landscape has changed. First came Covid-19, which increased Americans’ concern for their safety. These fears escalated as the protests following the death of George Floyd at the hands of police turned violent. Americans saw police forces across the country unable to protect their cities against rioting mobs. One result is that gun sales have shot through the roof, with an estimated 40% of purchases this year going to first-time buyers.
That last line is critical. Of new gun sales this year, 40% were first time buyers. I have had many people ask me about buying their first gun this year. More on that in my action plan below. Of these many new gun owners, how many are going to vote for the Democratic party that has explicitly told them it will take their guns away? These new suburban shooters, many of them female, will be telling politicians “You Ain’t Takin’ My Guns.”
It’s getting easier to see through the myths surrounding gun control, thanks to dedicated researchers like John Lott, and his new book, Gun Control Myths. Anti-gun politicians like Joe Biden don’t have a leg to stand on.
ACTION PLAN: Get your first gun. I recommend starting with a shotgun. Here are three that make good sense. But everyone is different so you should spend some time choosing the right firearm for you. Most important, get training. I have enjoyed Sig Sauer Academy in New Hampshire and have learned a lot. Find a similar facility near you and put effort into understanding your firearm.
You don’t want inertia to hold you back. Sign up for my monthly Survive & Thrive newsletter by clicking here, and every month I’ll give you the push you need to make the right choices for the personal and financial security your family deserves. It’s time to get serious about your survival.