If you’ve been following the news over the last few weeks, you’ll know that among runs on things like toilet paper and dry food, Americans have also been buying up firearms and ammunition at much higher than normal rates. Just how much higher? Well, let us attempt to put things into perspective for you.
With several states actively releasing prisoners back into society for fear of COVID-19 ravaging jails/prisons and concerns about the availability of food and basic goods, along with a rising unemployment rate, Americans are clearly worried about a spike in violent crime associated with the pandemic.
According to Statista, a statistics tracking website/database, there were just under 2.4 million military members in the United States in 2019. This includes all branches, active duty and reserve/national guard.
Well, it looks like in the month of March 2020 alone, Americans bought enough firearms to arm the entire military with small arms.
According to a press release by Small Arms Analytics, estimates that nearly 2.6 million firearms were sold in the month of March. This includes handguns, long guns, and shotguns.
Based on anecdotal feedback from gunshop owners and workers, it would seem that unlike prior high purchase months, this current dash to the gun store has largely been driven by first time gun buyers who suddenly feel the need to take their own self protection more seriously. Studies have shown that prior high purchase months were driven by current gun owners who were concerned about current politics and potential new restrictions on firearms.
“We have seen an absolutely enormous spurt in handgun sales,” said Jurgen Brauer, chief economist for the firm to NBC News. “You have state-by-state variations, but for the nation as a whole, an absolutely unprecedented boost in handgun acquisition.”
“People are worried with law enforcement stretched to the maximum, now responding to only selected calls,” he said. “They realize that when bad things happen, it’s going to be up to them to be able to defend themselves and their families.”
This shatters the prior month record following the election of President Barack Obama to a second term and the Sandy Hook school shooting.
To date, COVID-19 has infected over 500,000 Americans and killed over 21,000. New York remains the hardest hit by the virus, but other hot spots continue to pop up around the country.