Estimated Gun Sales Up 85.3% for March 2020, Likely Due to COVID-19 Crisis

By Michael W. Chapman | April 2, 2020 | 9:59am EDT
(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

( -- Estimated gun sales for March 2020 were up 85.3% compared with March 2019 sales, according to the Small Arms Analytics & Forecasting group (SAAF), which bases its analysis on the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

In March 2020, there were an estimated 2,583,238 firearms sales, an 85.3% increase over the March 2019 firearms sales. 

Broken down by type of gun, there were an estimated 1,534,002 handgun sales in March, which is an increase of 91.1% over the March 2019 numbers. Also, there were an estimated 835,663 long-gun sales in March, an uptick of 73.6% compared with March 2019.

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

The SAAF further reported that "all other likely background-check related sales (213,573) increased by 94.0%" compared with the numbers for March 2019. 

"As anticipated by general media and within-industry reports, firearms unit sales boomed in March 2020 largely due to the COVID-19 health risks," said SAAF Chief Economist Jurgen Brauer.


"Much of the industry's inventory will have been depleted, so that we anticipate that weapons and ammunition prices increased as well," he said. "The spurt in firearms sales in March 2020 was particularly notable for its handgun component: The ratio of handguns to long-guns sold now stands at a record 1.84, the highest ration since the introduction of the NICS checks in late 1998." 

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