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NAT’L – GUN RIGHTS – American gun sales soar to staggering record high in 2020

Pass the ammo. While 2020 has been a bummer year for millions of Americans, one significant winner has been firearms. Still about 60 days until year’s end, U.S. gun sales have hit an all-time national high, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation. The previous record for firearm sales occurred in 2016. The surge, not surprisingly, coincides with the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak in March. “Everybody went to the grocery stores first to stock up on food, then they went to the gun stores,” Eric Wallace, the owner of the Georgia business Adventure Outdoors explained to CBS MoneyWatch on Tuesday. Gun sales are expected to boom even more with the ensuing winter holidays as November and December are usually among the most active months of the year for firearm sales, noted the industry trade group. The National Shooting Sports Foundation states that a staggering 17.2 million background checks were performed in 2020 — nearly 1.5 million more than in 2016. Firearm purchases have risen every month since March, according to data, and more than 1.7 million background checks were conducted in October alone — nearly a 60% jump over the same period in 2019, notes MoneyWatch. The group also adds that nearly 5 million Americans bought a firearm for the first time in 2020, pointing to factors that include the pandemic and nationwide protests against police brutality. “Politically charged calls to defund police also continue to spur sales,” the foundation stated. Presidential hopeful Joe Biden has proposed tougher gun rules, including the prohibition of assault-style weapons and high-capacity magazines, noted MoneyWatch.  [full article]

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