America recorded another month of soaring gun sales, with April 2021 seeing more background checks than any other April on record.
According to FBI records, April’s gun sales hit at least 1.8 million, with FBI background checks numbering over 3.5 million. According to FBI records, gun sale numbers have set records each month since December 2019.
Gun sellers, firearm shows, and stores across the country chalk up the sales to the civil unrest and pandemic over the past few years.
Purchasers are buying firearms for protection. Americans are also keeping watch over the Biden administration’s push for new gun control legislation in response to recent mass shootings in Indianapolis, Boulder, Colorado, and Atlanta.
President Biden is pushing for gun control restrictions, particularly on semi-automatic weapons, including the AR-15. The AR-15 remains the most popular rifle on the market, with recent purchases increasing sales dramatically.
According to James Densley, co-founder of The Violence Project, “We see this trend often. Whenever high-profile mass shootings occur, people begin stockpiling weapons out of fear that the government will restrict gun rights.”
He referred to recent gun sale spikes as a “reactionary response.”
America’s biggest gun maker, Smith & Wesson, has seen record sales over the past year and the latest quarter.
The company sold more than 600,000 guns in the quarter, which represents more than double the sales numbers from a year ago.
Smith & Wesson manufactures rifles, revolvers, and pistols. The company chalks increased sales up to Congress and the Biden administration’s plans for more restrictive gun laws and a possible limit on gun sales.
The numbers show that more than 8 million Americans purchased their first firearm from Smith & Wesson over the past year. The company has also seen a large increase in new gun owners, as well as purchases by people of color and women.
“The industry is not only growing but diversifying with women and minorities making up over 40% of the overall purchases,” said Mark Smith, chief executive of Smith & Wesson.
Smith explained to investors that the company is working to meet growing demand.
Gun shop owners say that acquiring ammunition has become increasingly difficult over the past year. When stock is replenished, buyers purchase as much as possible.
Many gun buyers acknowledged using their stimulus checks to purchase weapons.
According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, more than 8.4 million Americans have become first-time purchasers since the beginning of the pandemic.
“Americans continue to vote with their wallets when it comes to lawful firearm ownership,” explained Mark Oliva, director of public affairs for the National Shooting Sports Foundation.
“March’s record background checks shows that President Biden’s demand to enact a ban on AR-15s and the push by Democrats to enact laws that would deny Americans their rights is out of step with Main Street, U.S.A.,” Oliva said.