The Great Gun Run of 2020 continued at a record-setting pace in November, according to new analysis from the National Shooting Sports Foundation. The firearms industry trade group estimates that over the course of the past month there were 1,949,141 background checks performed on gun sales; a whopping 45.2% increase over November of 2019 and the most guns sales ever in the month of November.
The NSSF reports that, to date, there’ve been 19.1 million background checks conducted on gun sales in 2020, shattering the previous record high of 15.7 million NICS checks on gun sales in 2016. The number of new gun owners also continues to increase, according to the NSSF, with an estimated 7.7-million Americans picking up a firearm for the first time so far this year.
With December typically one of the busiest months of the year for gun sales, it seems likely that by the time the new year gets here there will be close to 9-million new gun owners in the United States, and the surge in gun ownership has resulted in continued record-high demand for ammunition as well.
Gun stores across the country are continuing to report short supply for many common calibers, and the price of ammo is increasing as well. WINK-TV recently took a look at at the ammunition situation in the Fort Myers, Florida area and found it’s having an impact.
The Owner of Gulf Coast Clay’s Gun Club, in Collier County, Correy Rugg, lives and breathes guns. So you can imagine how much he’s heard about the recent shortage of ammo.
“It seems like anywhere you go if you want to buy any kind of ammo at all it’s really tough to come by,” Rugg said.
Corey says there are two reasons for the shortage, panic-buying during the pandemic and the presidential election.
“Coronavirus shut down a lot of the manufacturers which supplied all the ammo and now all their inventory is gone and with all the panic buying everybody’s just starting to try and catch back up,” he said.
Thomas B. works at Tactical Research Weapons. “As far as ammunition goes it’s extremely hard to come by,” said Thomas.
Thomas B. says they’ve had plenty of people coming in looking for ammo. “Not only is it short but it’s also getting pretty expensive to the point where people won’t buy it unless they feel desperate enough to which we have had a few people do,” he said.
Most of the industry experts that I’ve spoken to say they think we’ll be well into 2021 before the a balance between supply and demand is found, and we’ll see slow improvement rather than a switch being flipped and store shelves returning to normal overnight.
Of course, any attempt by Joe Biden and Democrats in Congress to push their anti-gun agenda will likely lead to yet another surge in demand for both firearms and ammunition, which could delay a return to normalcy for the industry.
Frankly, what that new normal looks like with nearly 10-million new gun owners is anyone’s guess at the moment. How many of them will become regular visitors to their local gun range, or become competitive shooters, take up hunting, or become an active part of the Second Amendment community as opposed to putting their new gun in a safe somewhere and forgetting about it?
My guess is that a substantial number of them are going to actively embrace their Second Amendment rights, which could mean it takes a little longer for the industry to catch up to the new normal in terms of demand. While that’s not great news for those of us looking for a few boxes of .223 without having to take out a second mortgage, our rights are going to be more secure in the long run with millions of new activists joining the cause.