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'This is probably the strongest level of demand that I've seen'
As violent crime surges across the United States amid the "defund the police" movement, gun sales have also skyrocketed.
There were an estimated 1,795,602 gun sales in July, the Washington Free Beacon reported, shattering previous records for the same month. The number was an increase of 133% compared to July 2019.
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FBI statistics confirmed the firearm purchasing boom.
The bureau conducted more than 3.6 million background checks in July, the third-highest month for background checks since the FBI began keeping related statistics more than 20 years ago, according to CNN. The background checks are required for every purchase made from a federally licensed firearms dealer.
By comparison, the FBI conducted about 2 million background checks during the same one-month period last year.
Americans are purchasing firearms at an eye-popping rate during the coronavirus pandemic and racial unrest that has gripped the nation for more than two months.
The only two months that saw more FBI background checks for firearm purchases were in March — when 3.74 million background checks were conducted — and in June when an all-time record of 3.91 million background checks were completed.
From the Free Beacon:
Gun dealers reported a 58.2 percent increase in black customers in 2020—the most rapid growth of any ethnic group, according to a survey from the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), which represents gun makers and dealers. More than eight million guns have been sold in 2020, according to background-check records, and many purchasers are first-time gun owners.
The record-setting sales and firearm interest has led to record profits for gun manufactures, like Ruger and Smith & Wesson.
And according to Chris Killoy, chief executive officer of Sturm, Ruger & Company, the sales boom shows no sign of slowing down.
"Having been in this industry for 30 years, I saw the surge in 1994 before the assault weapons ban took place," Killoy told investors last Thursday, the Free Beacon reported. "This is probably the strongest level of demand that I've seen. One of the most significant differences is how it has impacted all levels of the channel and the impact on inventory at all levels."
The boom, Killoy explained, is driven by three factors: the COVID-19 pandemic, mass protests, and the call for reduction of law enforcement.
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Chris Enloe is a staff writer for Blaze News