Nearly 19-million firearms sold in 2021, second highest total on record

AP Photo/Morgan Lee

The Great Gun Run of 2020 may have subsided slightly in 2021, but it’s clear that there’s still red-hot demand for rifles, pistols, and shotguns among American citizens. According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, there were more than 18-million firearms sold at retail last year, which is the second highest figure on record behind the 21-million or so that were sold in 2020.

The NSSF’s Mark Oliva notes that the strong sales have taken place as more of us have started thinking seriously about our personal safety and the deteriorating conditions in many American cities.

“This has also happened as the firearm industry faced significant challenges and new opportunities,” Oliva noted in a press release.

“NSSF led the opposition to defeat President Joe Biden’s nomination of a gun control lobbyist, David Chipman, to regulate the firearm industry, the single most important fight of the year to preserve the firearm industry and Second Amendment rights. At the same time, manufacturers announced significant investments in the expansion and relocation, signaling the anticipation for continued growth. The 2021 totals of 18.5 million background checks for a firearm sale prove the work to preserve and grow this vital industry is essential and the men and women of this industry are able more than capable of meeting the growing demand for lawful firearm ownership.”

And the demand is definitely growing, including in some unlikely places. Russell Stuart, who owns the lone gun store in Beverly Hills, California, says business is booming as a result of the increasing violence across the Los Angeles area.

“There are a lot of people here who do not fall into the rich category. Firearms and public safety is not a rich issue. We’ve seen an uptick in watch robberies, car thefts, follow-home invasions because of the climate of crime in Beverly Hills and throughout the Greater Los Angeles area. People have been driven to focus more on their own personal safety,” said Stuart.

That includes 24-year-old Emily Junkins of Los Angeles, who bought a gun from Stuart after two shootings took place on her street corner.

“There’s a ton of families that live around here. This is a really good, cute area and it really just started to go downhill about a year ago and made me feel unsafe as a citizen and as a young woman who lives alone. I just took matters into my own hands. I felt that was the best option,” said Junkins.

Customer Sherry Tedeschi of Beverly Hills says she no longer feels safe in the city she’s lived in for 50 years. The Dec. 1, 2021 murder of longtime Beverly Hills resident Jackie Avant left Tedeschi frightened.

“We have crime right here. Across the street they had a safe stolen out of the wall. A lot of us are watching one another now,” said Tedeschi.

Of course, this being California, the Democrats in control in Sacramento have some big ideas on how to curtail legal gun ownership in the state, and we’ll be covering this awful strategy in greater detail in a separate post later today. Suffice it to say that not everyone is pleased to see more Americans embracing and exercising their Second Amendment rights, and the gun control lobby and their Democratic allies are going to be working hard this year to make the right to keep and bear arms less accessible to more Americans.

I suspect that when we do our end-of-the-year wrap up for 2022, Second Amendment supporters will be able to count more victories than losses (not to mention millions of new gun owners), but we definitely have our work cut out for us in terms of pushing back on the Biden administration’s agenda as well as the onslaught of anti-gun legislation pending in blue states.