New statistics shows a broader group of demographics are buying firearms than ever before.
If you have taken the time to step inside a brick and mortar firearms store in recent weeks, you have probably noticed the same thing we have. Stocks of available guns may be short. I picked up a new rifle at my local Sportsman's Warehouse last night and their shelves were nearly bare of all handgun ammo. The sales clerk said things have been "crazy" and that the phone has been ringing off the hook with people looking to buy ammo.
What gun retailers and firearms owners may not realize is that the demographics for your typical buyer of firearms are becoming broader in this surge. Recent numbers compiled by National Shooting Sports Foundation surveys of firearms retailers now back that up.
According to a NSSF press release, NICS data indicated 10.3 million firearms purchases just in the first half of 2020 alone. This translated into a 95 percent increase in sales and a whopping 139 percent increase in ammunition sales over the previous year. Not everyone is hurting during this pandemic.
The NSSF also released a breakdown of demographics for gun buyers during the first half of 2020. White males are still the biggest group of gun buyers at 55.8 percent of all customers, closely followed by white females at 16.6 percent. The next largest demographic to purchase firearms includes black males at 9.3 percent and black females at 5.4 percent. Approximately 6.9 percent of customers were Hispanic males while 2.2 percent were Hispanic females. Asian males and females rounded out the top demographics at 3.1 percent and 0.7 percent.
Those numbers may not sound too surprising, but what is notable here is the percentage of increase among some of these demographics. Purchases among black men and women saw a 58.2 percent surge in sales. Likewise, sales to Hispanic men and women saw a 49.4 percent increase and Asian men and women saw a 42.9 percent increase. Unsurprisingly, white men and women also saw a significant sales increase of 51.9 percent.
According to NSSF's numbers, this has helped firearms retailers significantly. Approximately 87 percent saw an overall increase in sales while 92 percent saw an increase in ammunition sales. Back in June, the NSSF noted that as many as 40 percent of sales were to first-time gun buyers. Unsurprisingly, the numbers reflected mostly self-defense firearms. Semi-automatic handguns accounted for most of the sales, closely followed by shotguns and modern sporting rifles. Retailers cited personal protection as the primary reasons for most purchases.
More than seven months into 2020, it will be interesting to see if the surge in gun sales continues throughout the rest of year.