Gun sales may go up this Black Friday as fear of firearm regulations makes Americans buy more weapons
Last month, nearly 1.2 million firearms were sold in the US, marking a 10.8 percent rise from October last year, as per the data from Small Arms Analytics.
America continues to see the debate raging on over gun control. Unchecked use of the killer machines sees thousands dying in the country every year but presence of strong gun lobbies make it challenging for the US to get rid of the menace.
Despite all protests, sales of guns are expected to rise during the upcoming holidays following the cases of mass shootings and ahead of the proposed firearm regulations. Last month, nearly 1.2 million firearms were sold in the US, marking a 10.8 percent rise from October last year, as per the data from Small Arms Analytics. In September, too, about 1.1 million firearms were sold in the US which was a 10.7 percent rise from the corresponding month in 2018.
This rise in gun purchases is also being driven by the fear that the lawmakers could tighten the gun laws in the wake of the mass shooting incidents and the protests that are following and people are apprehensive over the Second Amendment rights. This spike has seen the FBI’s work increasing manifold to conduct background checks and this year, it may break the one-year record of 27.5 million with the approaching holidays, according to USA Today that cited bureau records.
“People respond to what they perceive as threats to their (Second Amendment) rights, and this has been going on since August,” Larry Keane, general counsel for the firearms industry trade group National Shooting Sports Foundation, was quoted as saying by USA Today.
Guns are also a preferred form of gift during the holidays with even companies believing that presenting the employees the revolver they prefer is something that promotes personal safety as well as the idea of team-building.
As per the agency’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System, the number of monthly checks has not gone down below two million this year, for the first time since the checking started in 1998. Last month, the FBI carried out 2.4 million background checks for potential gun buyers, data further showed.
The highest number of background checks ever recorded by the agency was on Black Friday 2017 when 203,000 background checks for gun sales were done. The FBI has found it challenging to keep up with the pace in carrying out the checks, seeking more money and manpower though that has tended to leave backlogs elsewhere.
The experts also believe that the sales of guns will go up further as the 2020 presidential election nears.
The issue of gun control has become one of the most debated ones ahead of the 2020 election. Beto O’Rourke was one Democratic candidate who sought a mandatory buyback of weapons from people and though his idea left a mixed impression, the issue of gun violence remains a top one in this election season.
In August, Republicans increasingly backed a bipartisan proposal to encourage states to adopt 'red flag' laws to take guns away from people who could be dangerous to themselves or others. Under the plan, a federal grant program would be created to encourage states to implement the laws. It would have been the first major federal gun control law since the 1994 assault weapons ban, which expired a decade later.
The Democrats, on the other hand, are demanding a Senate vote on a universal background checks bill.
President Donald Trump’s position on the background checks has remained inconsistent with him supporting and opposing it time and again.