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Gun sales continue to soar at record highs in August as riots rage on


Gun sales this year have already topped 2019 sales

Photo by Mike Pont/Getty Images

As violent riots continue to rage on in communities across the country, Americans have continued to arm up at record-setting levels.

The Washington Free Beacon reported Tuesday that the U.S. saw more gun sales in August 2020 than any other August since the FBI has been logging data on the subject. According to the outlet's analysis of FBI background check data, there were at least 1.6 million firearm purchases during the past month, a 57% increase compared to August of last year.

The outlet noted that just two other years — 2016 and 2019 — saw gun sales top 1 million in August, and sales in those months were still well under the totals from August 2020.

The record-setting month continues the trend for this year, as Americans have stocked up on firearms amid the coronavirus pandemic and the nationwide movement to defund police departments.

March 2020 saw the most single-month gun sales ever recorded, and every month since has topped year-over-year totals. In July, some retailers reported that they were running out of stock.

On Wednesday, the Washington Examiner reported that 2020 gun sales in America have already topped 2019 levels, with four months still to go in the year. Amazingly, among the nearly 15 million gun sales recorded this year are an estimated 5 million from first-time gun buyers.

A gun safety instructor recently told the Free Beacon that he has never seen more interest in firearms.

"In 15 years of teaching firearm safety, I have never seen a higher level of interest in guns," said Rick Ector, whose firearms training academy is based in Detroit, Michigan. "I do not need to advertise, and my phone is constantly ringing."

Ector added that the sales are likely driven by a combination of factors, including the pandemic, economic shutdowns, and violence in the streets in places like Portland, Oregon, and Kenosha, Wisconsin.

"Any single issue by itself would lead to an increase of people buying guns," he said. "We have all four factors 'in play' and the run on guns is no surprise to me."

As a side note, to get its numbers, the Free Beacon takes the total background checks performed, as reported by the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), and subtracts checks from the count that were coded for non-gun sales.

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