As the numbers of cases of COVID-19 continue to rise, so do the numbers of gun sales.
According to an analysis recently released by Small Arms Analytics & Forecasting (SAAF), a record 2.5 million guns were sold in March. That figure is up 85% compared with the same month last year. Even with gun shops shut down by order of some mayors and governors, Americans still set records.
The FBI reported a record 3.7 million background checks in March. The previous record was 3.3 million in December 2015. This is all before statistics for April are in, but SAAF expects a similar rise, due to increasing fear and anxiety over COVID-19.
SAAF uses the FBI records for its projections but adjusts them because not all background checks equate to purchases.
With its adjustments, SAAF estimated more than 1.5 million single handgun sales and more than 835,000 single long-gun sales in March. Of the 210,000 likely sales, most were multiple purchases that can’t be broken down into rifles and handguns.
Last March’s numbers were about 800,000 single handgun sales and about 480,000 single long-gun sales.
“Much of the industry’s inventory will have been depleted, so we anticipate that weapons and ammunition prices will increase [going forward] as well,” said SAAF Chief Economist Jurgen Brewer.
by Mike F. Strong
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