Gun Sales Surge Thanks to First-Time Buyers

Gun sales are spiking around the U.S., driven by rising crime, political shifts in Washington, and Gunss

al unrest.

QUICK FACTS:
  • Connecticut State Police data show 169,113 gun sale authorizations in 2020, according to American Military News (AMN).
  • The number of authorizations is up from 126,458 in 2019, representing a more than 33% increase.
  • Connecticut has received 94,534 authorizations this year.
  • First-time gun buyers making up a large part of the surge, the state issued 31,170 new gun permits from Jan 1 through early July—more than double the number of permits processed in all of 2019, notes AMN.
  • Across the United States, a survey of firearms retailers conducted by the National Shooting Sports Foundation “found that 40% of customers from January through April of 2020 were first-time gun buyers.”
  • 40% of those new buyers were female.
WHAT GUN ADVOCATES ARE SAYING:
  • Owner of Central Connecticut Arms in Portland—one of the states’ largest gun shops—Rob Pizzi Jr. said, “People are jumping at the opportunity to buy more guns.”
  • “People are starting to realize they’re their own first responders,’ Pizzi said. “With all the anti-police sentiment that’s going around right now, we’re selling a lot of concealed-carry handguns. We sell a lot of home defense handguns and shotguns.”
  • Pizzi also believes that Democrat Joe Biden’s pledge to address rising gun violence prompted some purchases. “They’re worried about the political climate and what may or may not be available for them to purchase and what’s going to be illegal,” he said.
  • Holly Sullivan—president of the Connecticut Citizens Defense League, a nonprofit group that advocates on behalf of gun owners—said, “The fastest growing demographic of new gun owners are women.” “By and large, the biggest growth is among women, and that’s consistent nationally and here in the state.”
  • “Americans across the board, whether they’re first-time gun owners or longtime gun owners, feel more of a need to defend themselves and their families than they have in the past,” Sullivan said. “That is the cultural climate, the political climate and the reality that we’re in.”
WHAT FIRST-TIME GUN BUYERS ARE SAYING:
  • Jenny—a 44-year-old stay-at-home mom who bought her first gun last year— is a victim of domestic abuse who said she was motivated by personal safety concerns.
  • “I had run into my ex-husband while I was jogging and after that, I made the decision that I needed to carry,” she said.
  • “It was such an unpredictable time, and people were under a lot of stress,” she said. “I realized I was responsible for my own self-defense.”
  • “I just love going shooting,” she said. “I have the confidence that I can hit my target.”
BACKGROUND:
  • The Covid-19 phenomenon and record sales of firearms have “fueled a shortage of ammunition in the United States that’s impacting law enforcement agencies, people seeking personal protection, recreational shooters and hunters,” according to The Associated Press.
  • The White House has been working in recent weeks to distance Biden from the “defund the police” movement, notes NBC News.
  • Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland have announced tougher enforcement policies for federal gun control laws, Biden focusing on so-called “assault weapons” and high capacity magazines, according to The National Interest, plausibly contributing to Americans stocking up on firearms.