Gun sales soared in May, especially after the Memorial Day death of George Floyd, which has prompted riots and looting in dozens of cities across the U.S.
“You couldn’t even keep up with it. That’s how crazy it was,” Joe Hawk, owner of Guns & Roses in New Jersey, told The Washington Times. “After Memorial Day, it spiked again. It just went crazy again.”
Small Arms Analytics & Forecasting, a private research firm, estimated that more than 1.7 million guns were sold in May, an 80% jump from May 2019, The Times said.
The rise in May followed another surge in April, which rose 71.3% over April 2019, with another 1.7 million firearms purchased. March also saw soaring numbers, 2,583,238 firearms sold — 85.3 percent more than the previous year, according to data released Small Arms Analytics and Forecasting.
Gun checks have also soaring. More than 3 million checks were run through the FBI’s national instant check system in May, a record and 32% above from May 2019.
“Small Arms Analytics & Forecasting reported that handgun sales likely clocked in at about 1 million in May, a 94% increase from last year, and the 535,000 long gun sales marked an increase of about 66%,” said The Times.
The week of April 13-19 was in the 10 highest weeks since the tracking system was set up in November 1998. During that week in April, the FBI conducted 766,739 checks.
“This shows us there is continued appetite among Americans to be able to provide for their own safety during times of uncertainty,” said Mark Oliva, a spokesperson for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, although his organization found the numbers rose by 69.1% in April. “These are buyers who have witnessed their governments empty prisons… Police departments are stretched beyond capacity in many cases. Law-abiding Americans recognize this and exercising their right to own a gun and defend themselves and their loved ones,” he told Fox Business.
“People are starting to consider self-reliance and where their food comes from,” Hank Forester of Quality Deer Management Association told the New York Post, adding that he believes there will be a hunting resurgence as grocery store shelves continue to go bare.
Meanwhile, Democrats have been trying to use the virus as cover for dismantling the Second Amendment.
Virginia lawmakers tried to ban so-called assault weapons like AR-15 rifles, but that didn’t pass. Still, some of Gov. Ralph “Blackface” Northam’s gun control measures have passed in the state’s Democratic-controlled General Assembly and lawmakers will hash out the differences between both chambers in the coming weeks.
“Some of the bills include limiting handgun purchases to once a month; universal background checks on gun purchases; and a red flag bill that would allow authorities to temporarily take guns away from anyone deemed to be dangerous to themselves or others,” Fox reported.