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NAT’L – RETAILERS – U.S. Gun Sales Set New Record

As police forces throughout America lose funding, the inevitable has begun: People are stocking up on guns and ammunition. Background checks prior to gun purchases have shot upward. In July of this year, the Federal Bureau of Investigation performed 3,639,224 of these checks. In July 2019, they performed only 2,030,661. That’s an increase of 79.2 percent. June, the month major riots began sweeping through America, saw an even steeper increase. FBI data indicates 2.3 million guns were sold in June 2020—an increase of 145.3 percent over June 2019. Meanwhile, police in major cities are being deprived of their ability to enforce the law. On July 28, the Minneapolis Police Department circulated “robbery prevention tips” telling citizens, “Do not argue or fight with the criminal. Do as they say,” and “be prepared to give up your cell phone and purse/wallet.” Understandably, many are taking their safety into their own hands and purchasing firearms. The fbi estimates that 10 million guns have been sold since 2020 began. Many of these sales were made to first-time buyers, of which many were black. A recent survey conducted by the National Shooting Sports Foundation found that the “highest overall firearm sales increase comes from black men and women who show a 58.2 percent increase in purchases during the first six months of 2020 versus the same period last year.” Not all background checks necessarily lead to a gun purchase. However, data from manufacturers of firearms suggest that there is a stronger correlation than ever. An estimated 1,795,602 gun sales took place in July; this set a new record. Revenue for gun companies has also tripled. Gun manufacturer Sturm, Ruger & Company reported quarterly earnings on July 30. Figures showed its earnings for the first six months of 2019 equated $210,367,000. For the first six months of 2020, the company pulled in $253,903,000—and its earnings per share have increased at least threefold. Smith and Wesson, another major gun supplier, is also raking in the profits. In the last three months of 2019, net sales amounted to $175.7 million. But since the beginning of 2020, sales have reached $233.6 million. This is an increase of nearly 33 percent since the start of the year. This gun rush is happening all over America, and sellers are struggling to meet demand. According to the Washington Free Beacon, “Some retailers are reporting that the rush on guns and ammunition has drained their stock nearly dry.” If the trend continues, this year will see America’s greatest surge in gun sales ever recorded. Americans have seen how violent riots can suddenly explode onto city streets. They have witnessed skyrocketing murders and the declining budgets and morale among police forces. Facing all this, many are more willing than ever to use the guns and ammunition they have been purchasing.  [full article]

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