Gun Sales Pass 1 Million for 35th Consecutive Month


Gun sales in the United States have passed the 1 million mark each month for nearly three straight years, a record being driven by people who seek to arm themselves for protection against criminals, according to new data.

For the 35th straight month, FBI background checks for firearms hit over 1 million, a victory for groups that have been advocating easier access to firearms for adults who can pass the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

“These figures are a strong reminder of the values and freedoms for which our nation stands, including the right of individuals to keep and bear arms for Americans of all walks of life,” said Mark Oliva of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a gun industry trade group.

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Graphic courtesy National Shooting Sports Foundation

“While President Biden and gun control advocates demanded strict gun control legislation, Americans voted with their wallets that the Second Amendment is a right they are choosing to exercise by the millions every month,” he added.

The trade group just digested the latest monthly FBI background check figures and found that the number adjusted for sales was 1,382,287. That was an increase of 8.1% over June 2021, when the number was 1,279,300.

That made June 2022 the second-strongest month on record for background checks, surpassed only by June 2020, when concerns were higher about crime, the election, and attacks on police.

“We’re seeing a definite uptick in business in what historically is our slowest time of the year. In particular, we’re seeing a big surge in the purchase of everyday-carry handguns and associated gear,” said Justin Anderson, the marketing director of Hyatt Guns in Charlotte, North Carolina, one of the nation’s largest sellers.

“In our store, we’re meeting many new gun buyers, with an emphasis on African American and women buyers. People are becoming more and more informed at just how inept and unwilling government agencies are to protect them, and in some extreme cases, may threaten them. Along with that, our training classes are filling up quickly at our new shooting complex just east of Charlotte. It remains an exciting time to be in the gun business!” he added.

While overall NICS numbers are a good indicator of sales, they also include checks for security clearances, concealed carry permits, and rechecks.

NSSF tries to pull those out to give an accurate trend of sales.

And some states have rules that allow gun sales to bypass the FBI system.

Sales to women and minorities have grown with the rise in crime and easing up of concealed carry laws in about half the country.

Even the New York Times staff has seen the benefits of gun ownership. Just last month, opinion editor Laura E. Adkins penned a column on getting a gun after the Supreme Court killed New York’s strict gun purchase requirements. “If my life is ever in danger, I want to be able to protect myself with a gun. And now, thanks to the Supreme Court’s decision in New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen, I am one step closer to carrying one,” she wrote.