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July Another Record Month for NICS Checks as ‘Gun Rush’ Continues

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Article first appeared on Ammoland.com

U.S.A.-(AmmoLand.com)- Raw numbers from the FBI’s National Instant Background Check System (NICS) shows a new record for the month of July, and the third-highest monthly number of checks so far this year, suggesting the “gun rush” of 2020 is hardly over.

There were, according to raw FBI data, 3,639,224 NICS checks initiated last month, eclipsing the previous July record of 2,197,169, set in 2016. That was a busy year as the entire country anticipated the election of Hillary Rodham Clinton, the vehemently anti-gun Democrat former First Lady and ex-New York senator, and former Secretary of State under Barack Obama.

While the NICS number does not represent one-to-one gun sales, it is a strong indicator regarding interest in gun ownership.

NICS checks last month set a new record for July, suggesting gun sales are continuing strong. Source, FBI)

According to Small Arms Analytics & Forecasting, the estimated July firearms sales were “2.0 million units, a year-over-year increase of 134.6% from July 2019.”

June saw 3.9 million NICS checks initiated, and March logged more than 3.7 million NICS checks. According to Fox Business, more than 2.3 million guns were sold in June, constituting a 145 percent increase over the same month last year. So far this year, there have been 355,823,337 NICS checks.

For the past few months, anecdotal reports show a growing number of first-time gun purchases. Fox News is reporting that during the first six months of this year, there were more than 2.5 million first-time gun buyers, citing a report from the National Shooting Sports Foundation. The headline explained it tersely: “First-time gun ownership skyrockets amid riots, increased violence across country: ‘You can’t really be too safe’.”

That headline may have been underscored by the alarming number of people killed in traditionally sedate (where murder is concerned) Portland, Ore. Last month, the city racked up 15 homicides as “Black Lives Matter” protests stemming from the death of George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody descended into violent disturbances and riots.

Chicago’s bloodbath—seemingly ignored by BLM and political liberals—continued over the weekend as 33 people were shot, including nine killed, one of whom was a 9-year-old boy.

According to the website HeyJackass.com, July saw 107 people murdered including 96 by gunfire and 496 wounded. WLS News in Chicago revealed, “July that saw a 139% jump in city-wide murders compared the same month last year,” citing a Chicago Police Department report.

Underscoring the demand for defensive firearms, the Fox News story focused on a California couple “who have exercised their Second Amendment right to own weapons” for the first time.

“They told Fox News they have received their licenses and are now waiting for their firearms to arrive because they’re on backorder,” the story revealed.

A new Rasmussen Reports survey released Aug. 3 revealed 57 percent of likely voters believe criminals have taken advantage of the urban protests. Only 32 percent believe the mob violence that has continued for weeks in several major cities “is primarily legitimate outrage over the police.”

According to Rasmussen, “The current mob violence is aimed at alleged race-driven police brutality, but only 21% of voters think it is likely to improve the criminal justice situation in America. Fifty-one percent (51%) believe the mob violence will make the criminal justice situation worse. Seventeen percent (17%) say it will have no impact, while 12% are undecided.”

Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms noted privately to Ammoland News, “Is it any wonder why more people are buying guns?” He pointed to efforts in some cities to defund or even dismantle police agencies as one reason.

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Last week, KSTP News in Minneapolis published a list of tips to avoid being hurt in what appears to be a crime surge in the city. That list included the following advice:

Below are some tips offered by police to prevent robberies:

  • Don’t walk alone;
  • Be hyper-aware of your surroundings at all times, don’t be distracted;
  • Carry only items you need and carry less cash;
  • Be prepared to give up your cellphone and purse or wallet;
  • Have your keys already in your hand as you approach your vehicle;
  • Don’t fight with criminal, remember your safety is most important;
  • Be a good witness, be prepared to tell police how many suspects, what age, height, complexion, hair and eye color and any other descriptive features, as well as any weapons they had, what they left in and what direction they went.

Below are some tips offered by police to prevent robberies:

  • Lock your doors while driving;
  • Don’t stop for strangers approaching you;
  • Park in well-lit areas;
  • Always be hyper-aware of your surroundings;
  • Use a tracking device;
  • Never leave valuable items in your vehicle;
  • Never leave your vehicle running while unattended;
  • Memorize your license plate number to help police find it faster.

Some of these suggestions look more like advice on how to be a good crime victim rather than how not to be a crime victim. Nowhere is anyone advised to carry a defensive sidearm. Nowhere is it suggested to buy a gun and take a course on firearms and self-defense.

The question nobody seems to be asking is whether this surge in violence, resulting in a surge of gun buying, is the result of the COVID-19 shutdown which has cost millions of jobs, shuttered businesses, locked schools and crippled the economy.

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Another question worth exploring is whether the urban violence that has erupted in the wake of the Floyd incident has been a major contributing factor. What began ostensibly as peaceful protests was allegedly hijacked rather quickly by Antifa in many communities, so instead of quiet marches there property destruction, looting, arson, assault and even murder, combined with demands by protesters and their sympathizers in municipal government to cripple local police departments.

Then there is one more issue that Democrats, specifically, want to avoid: Joe Biden’s candidacy for the White House.

One firearms industry insider called it “the Biden Bump,” suggesting people are already concerned that if Biden wins in November, his administration will—as threatened repeatedly—crackdown on gun ownership and Second Amendment rights. All one needs to do is look at Virginia for proof this is more than election-year paranoia.

Ralph Northam promised gun restrictions if he got a Democrat majority in Richmond, and he delivered on that earlier this year. Biden already promised to make radical anti-gunner Beto O’Rourke his point man on guns. If Democrats win Capitol Hill, what will follow might make Virginia’s experience pale in comparison.

Grassroots gun rights activists are urging fellow gun owners—often a disappointingly lethargic bunch—to be sure they’re registered to vote, and then vote in November as they did in 2016 to keep Clinton out of the Oval Office.

At the same time, those activists are not discouraging anyone from buying a new gun or stocking up on ammunition.


About Dave Workman

Dave Workman is a senior editor at TheGunMag.com and Liberty Park Press, author of multiple books on the Right to Keep & Bear Arms and formerly an NRA-certified firearms instructor.

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