2020 Brought In 5 Million First Time Firearm Owners

5 Million New Gun Owners


NSSF (The Firearm Industry Trade Association) stated that nearly 5 million Americans purchased a firearm for the very first time in 2020. NSSF surveyed firearm retailers which reported that 40% of sales were conducted to first-time firearm purchasers.

"Several factors are contributing to the sustained surge in firearm purchases. Sales spiked in March, with a record-setting 2.3 million NICS background checks conducted for a firearm sale, the same month the coronavirus pandemic struck. During this time, police warned response times would be tested while mayors and governors emptied prisons, including violent felons. Some of those were rearrested within days for committing another violent crime. After Memorial Day, protests turned to looting, riots and destruction, which continues today in several major metropolitan areas. Politically-charged calls to defund police also continue to spur sales."

NSSF also estimates that there were over 12 million guns bought in the first seven months of 2020 — up more than 70% over the same time span in 2019. Smith & Wesson's CEO said in a September call with investors that approximately 40% of its weapons were going to new buyers, about double the rate from previous years. 

In 2019 Pew Research Center stated "Three-in-ten American adults (30%) say they personally own a gun, and an additional 11% say they live with someone who does." For many gun owners, owning a firearm is tied to their personal freedom