Gun Sales Up 80% During Wuhan Flu Outbreak

At least one industry is doing better in the U.S. during Wuhan Virus shelter-in-place orders and economic shutdowns.

According to hunting and outdoor lifestyle publication International Sportsman, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) adjusted the March 2020 National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) and found that there was an 80 percent increase over this month last year in gun sale background checks.

Fully 2,375,525 guns were sold, compared to 1,317,114 in March 2019 by the same measure.

When looking at financial quarters, the adjusted figures represent a 42 percent increase over this time in 2019. International Sportsman wrote:

For those who aren’t familiar with what that means, the data shows that 3,709,562 background checks for firearms were performed in March. Now, some of those could have not been approved for various reasons, but it is also of note that multiple firearms can be on one NICS check. …

Example: If you purchase five firearms in one transaction, that would be one NICS check even though five firearms were purchased.

International Sportsman emphasized that just because there were 4 million checks does not mean that 4 million guns were sold. One check could have covered multiple guns, the article stated. However, the amount was so high that the NICS system was reportedly overwhelmed to the point to where background checks took days to process.And of course there are private sales, both off-the-radar and in states in which buyers are not required to undergo background checks. The total sales figure could be much higher — perhaps 7 million by the article’s rough estimation.For methodology and a deeper look into this trend, see International Sportsman’s analysis here.

From the hip: It’s no surprise that gun sales tend to increase when gun owners and prospective gun owners fear that the government will soon begin to crackdown on sales or possession laws.

As one example, President Barack Obama has been hailed as one of the greatest gun salesmen of all time shortly after his election spurred fears that gun control measures would be quickly placed on the Democratic Party’s agenda. At the peak, following the Sandy Hook shooting, around 2 million guns were being sold per month. And more recently, a spike in violent crime in major cities was reduced following consumers heading to the gun stores in record numbers.

Shutdowns related to the coronavirus/COVID-19 situation are unprecedented, so now we’re naturally seeing unprecedented levels of gun transactions taking place. Again, this is no surprise, but it’s also nothing to fear. Guns save lives. In a worst-case scenario of a prolonged pandemic and even martial law, guns in the hands of average citizens is a check on government power as much as a means to ward off looters, rioters, and other potential baddies.

Whether Wuhan Flu takes the sales record away from Obama has yet to be seen, but then again Obama had eight years.

Source: National Shooting Sports Foundation, via International Sportsman.

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