Gun Sales Continue Climbing as 2021 Set to Eclipse Every Year but 1

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news and stories relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. He is based in Maryland.
November 2, 2021 Updated: November 2, 2021

Gun sales in 2021 are close to being higher than any year but one, with two months left to go, according to newly released data.

Over 1.4 million background checks were carried out by the FBI for gun sales in October, according to an analysis of bureau figures by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a group that represents gun manufacturers.

The FBI publishes monthly instant background check data and the group separates out requests pertaining to permits and permit rechecks.

The FBI reported conducting nearly 2.6 million checks in October.

“Background checks for gun sales continue to be strong and steadily rising,” Mark Olivia, director of public affairs for the foundation, told The Epoch Times in an emailed statement.

“This continued and sustained pace of background checks for the sale of a firearm, that is climbing in the closing months of 2021, shows the resiliency of the firearm manufacturers to meet this sustained, high-level demand and the personal interest by the American public to participate in the exercise of their God-given Second Amendment rights,” he added.

The annual total gun permit checks completed year-to-date is now nearly 15.2 million. The total in 2016 was 15.7 million and the total last year was 21 million.

Experts say the jump in gun sales last year stemmed in part from people in fear of rising crime. The record numbers have since dipped but are still on track to set the second-highest total in history.

The strong purchasing numbers come about two weeks after researchers said they found shootings were higher during the COVID-19 pandemic than before the health crisis. Authors analyzed data from the The Gun Violence Archive, which collects information on shootings in the United States. They said the higher number of gun sales may be linked to the jump in violence, though experts have said there’s likely a number of factors, including the push to cut funding to police departments in major cities across the nation.

Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news and stories relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. He is based in Maryland.