An estimated 6 million guns have been sold since the coronavirus outbreak began in March, as May marked the third consecutive month of record-high sales.
More than 1.7 million guns were sold in May 2020, according to an analysis by Small Arms Analytics & Forecasting. That is an all-time record for the month and an 80 percent increase from 2019. The spike in sales comes as rioting grips the nation and the coronavirus continues to dominate headlines. Jurgen Brauer, the group’s chief economist, called the trend “unprecedented.”
“Firearms sales have surged in unprecedented ways,” he said in a statement. “The boom in handgun sales has been particularly noticeable in recent months.”
May is typically the slowest month of gun sales in the spring, but 2020’s record-setting monthly figures were down only slightly from April’s 1.8 million and March’s 2.5 million—the highest sales total ever recorded in a single month. Most surprising to observers is the fact that May 2020 saw more sales than both March and April of 2019. The record-setting sales pace has been driven in large part by new gun owners, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the gun industry’s trade group.