FBI background checks for guns soar to all-time high in June during George Floyd protests & pandemic – The Sun
BACKGROUND checks for gun sales skyrocketed in June, hitting an all-time monthly high amid the coronavirus pandemic and national anti-police protests, according to a report.
The FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check system conducted 3.9 million background checks for the month of June, an increase of 70 percent over June 2019.
The statistics eclipsed March’s record of 3.7 million checks, according to the Washington Times.
Fueled by fears over the coronavirus pandemic and the violent riots that followed after the death of George Floyd in May, the FBI is close to breaking last year’s record for most background checks.
This brings 2020’s tally to 19.2 million background checks in the first six months alone.
The bureau recorded 28 million background checks in 2019.
The tally amounts to more checks than the first 14 years combined since the bureau began keeping statistics in 1998, the outlet reported.
While the numbers don’t exactly equal to gun sales, it is used to estimate the number of weapons that trade hands.
Justin Anderson, marketing director of one of the country’s biggest gun retailers, Hyatt Guns, said he has never seen demand so high.
“I’ve been in this business going on 14 years, and I have never seen this much demand,” Anderson told the Washington Examiner.
“There are shortages of nearly every single defensive firearm currently manufactured.”
“Our buyer is working seven days a week trying to keep our store stocked,” Anderson said, adding that new shipments sell out the day they arrive.
Anti-gun violence group, Everytown for Gun Safety, blamed the surge in sales on the coronavirus pandemic. The group called for stricter gun laws, arguing guns will lead to more violence.
“If lawmakers are serious about public safety, they will take immediate action to ensure that a background check is completed before every single gun sale,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety,
“Even if it takes longer than the current federal limit of just three days,” he added.
Meanwhile, Small Arms Analytics & Forecasting, which tracks gun industry data, estimates that 2.4 million guns were sold in June, a 145 percent increase on June 2019, according to their data.
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