When it comes to the Second Amendment, President Joe Biden has made his stance unmistakably clear — and it seems Americans are reacting accordingly.
According to figures from both the U.S. government and the firearms industry, gun sales last month were estimated to be the second-highest ever on record for the month of June, with approximately 1.3 million new weapons sold, the Washington Examiner reported.
Those figures fell short of the estimated 2.1 million guns sold in June 2020, when pandemic-related lockdowns, paired with an explosion of anti-police protests nationwide, appeared to spur a surge of firearm purchases.
According to the Examiner, the gun sales estimates come from data compiled by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) — an organization that represents firearms manufacturers and sellers — and are based on the number of FBI National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) queries, as well as other industry-specific data.
“June’s NSSF Adjusted NICS background check figures for the sale of a firearm were the second-highest on record and continue to show that firearm purchases are continuing at an elevated level when viewed over the last five years,” Mark Oliva, an NSSF spokesman, said in a statement, according to The Reload.
“These strong figures show that there is sustained interest in lawful possession of firearms,” Oliva added.
Facts and figures
Notably, while FBI background checks are generally regarded as the closest approximation to gun sales, it is not an exact total, as they don’t count private sales in most states and don’t account for multiple firearms purchased as part of a single transaction.
Some states also don’t require background checks for individuals with concealed carry permits, and still others undergo the reviews without buying a gun at all, as The Reload pointed out.
It’s also worth noting that while gun sales have surged, the Associated Press reports that so too have the number of rejections by NICS. The agency denied approximately 300,000 individuals in 2020. Around 40% of those were due to would-be buyers having a felony on their record, the AP said.
“Americans aren’t buying it”
As for whether the recent surge has anything to do with Biden, Oliva says the answer is clear. “It cannot be discounted that the continued elevated level of increased firearm purchases is driven, in part, by the gun control overtures by the Biden administration,” the NSSF spokesman said in a statement, according to the Examiner.
He charged that the Biden White House “is determined to use every lever within reach to stifle and disrupt the free exercise of Second Amendment rights, which begin with the ability of citizens who obey the law to freely approach the gun counter.”
“Americans aren’t buying it,” Oliva said. “Instead, they continue to buy guns.”