THE coronavirus pandemic has now seriously begun to affect the United States and has created a surge in demand, or what others are calling panic-buying, for guns.
The gun sale figures since the coronavirus pandemic reached US soil has reached record-breaking numbers, as reported by government data on the number of background checks which have been conducted in March.
In the US to purchase a weapon you must first have a background check. The FBI recorded more than 3.7 million background checks within its system in March alone, the highest number it has recorded in just a month in over 20 years. It is estimated that 2.4 million of these checks were attributed to gun sales, which is an 80 per cent increase from the previous month.
Almost 1.2 million of the gun background checks were conducted within a week, from March 16 – 23. This is the largest amount in a singular week ever recorded on the FBI’s system, which dates back to 1998.
Although these figures give us an insight into the purchase of guns during a specific period of time, it does not offer much specification into which arms, or how many of them were purchased. However, these numbers do show a correlation between the pandemic and a surge in demand for purchasing weapons, with some stores across the US flooded with panic-buyers, and with many first-time buyers.
Friday, March 20 was the record-breaking day for number of firearm background checks (210,308) in a singular day. However, Americans are able to purchase multiple guns from a dealer with a single background check. Furthermore, in a majority of states, residents can sell guns to each other privately without a background check, so these sales are also unaccounted for.