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KY – SELF-PROTECTION – Why One Kentucky Man Joined the 2020 Gun-Buying Boom

This spring, after several months of research, many hours at the shooting range, and a serious conversation with his wife, Jason Fisher bought a Springfield Armory Hellcat 9mm handgun. “As far as I know, it’s the highest magazine capacity in the smallest package on the market,” Fisher, 42, told Spectrum News 1. A first time gun owner, Fisher’s purchase was driven by a raft of considerations, including the 2018 racially-motivated murders at a Louisville Kroger, late nights loading DJ equipment into his vehicle, and a general sense that others may see him as a threat. “I am not one that believes that I have a bunch of haters in the world who are trying to come and get me,” Fisher said. “But I am aware that not everybody likes to see Black people in certain places in America and I simply want to be prepared for whatever situation I’m in.” Like Fisher, many Americans bought a gun for the first time in 2020, a year that set the record for gun sales when it was only nine months old. By the start of December, Americans had purchased more than 20 million firearms, well ahead of the 2016 record of 16.6 million, according to the firm Small Arms Analytics & Forecastings (SAAF). The first sales surge came as lockdown orders went out across the country. SAAF estimated that 2.58 million firearms were sold in March, an 85% year-over-year increase from 2019. Sales fell in April and May, though they remained well up from the previous year. Then in June, another spike came, with industry experts attributing the sales to the racial justice protests that filled the streets of many American cities. In August, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), a firearms industry trade group, estimated that five million Americans bought a gun for the first time in 2020. The next month, the CEO of Smith & Wesson Brands, Inc. guessed that 2020 had already seen twice as many first-time gun buyers as a normal year.  [full article]

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