CNN discovers growing number of Americans buying guns

AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

And something tells me the network’s reporters are less than thrilled by that fact. Still, I’ll give them a small bit of credit for actually talking to more new gun owners than gun control activists for their story, which is rare. In fact, this particular story was completely absent any quotes from Shannon Watts, Ryan Busse, or any of the other go-to anti-gunners who usually pop up in the press to deplore the fact that more Americans are exercising their Second Amendment rights; particularly women and minorities. This is the closest that CNN came to finding a critic of that fact.


In fact, gun ownership rates among women and African Americans were rising before the health crisis, said Dr. Matt Miller, a professor of health sciences and epidemiology at Northeastern Universitywho conducted a study with Harvard researcher Deborah Azrael.

“Sometime between 2016 and 2019, the new gun owners were more likely to be female and Black than prior to that and, whether it’s in response to feeling as though things are going out of control, the country is really divided, that’s a tempting speculation to make,” said Miller, referring to changing demographics among gun owners.

The Northeastern and Harvard study found that nearly 3% of US adults, or 7.5 million people, bought guns for the first time from January 2019 to April 2021. About half of the new gun owners were female, 20% were Black, and 20% were Hispanic. Overall, gun owners were 63% male and 73% White.

“The face of gun ownership is changing somewhat and the people who are becoming new gun owners today are less likely to be male and more likely to be non-White, more likely to be somewhat younger than existing and long-standing gun owners,” Miller said.

Miller said America’s run on guns is concerning. His study noted that the risk of death from suicide, homicide, and unintentional injury increases substantially with gun ownership.

“It would be good if those considerations were part of what went into the decision to become a gun owner,” he said.

And who’s to say they aren’t? Then again, who’s to say that his study is accurate other than Miller himself?


Despite Miller’s admonition, most of the CNN story features New Yorkers who are taking the (many and needlessly complicated) steps to lawfully exercise their right to keep and bear arms in a state that’s incredibly hostile to gun owners, including Jenn and Shelby; a couple of friends who were shooting at the South Shore Shooting Range on Long Island when CNN popped in.

“I have a Ruger and a Rossi – both rifles,” Shelby said. She bought her rifles during the pandemic at the recommendation of a family member.

Shelby said she’s filling out the paperwork for her handgun permit. She said the entire process could take from a year and a half to two years before she’s able to purchase a handgun.

“All of my friends now have licenses,” said Shelby, bursts of muffled gunfire in the background. “I’d like to hone my skills. I enjoy shooting. I’m a good shot.”

Her friend Jenn said she lives alone, so she wants a gun “probably for safety mostly, but I do enjoy coming to the range and shooting. I’ve been wanting to buy one for years.”

Jenn said she has sampled a number of handguns at the range. She liked a Smith & Wesson 9 mm but is still undecided.

“I just shot a few just now,” she said. “So trying to find a good feel, to figure out which one I do want to buy.”

Eighteen months to two years just to have her paperwork approved so she can purchase a pistol. Something tells me that gang members and other violent criminals on Long Island aren’t waiting nearly as long to get their hands on a gun illegally.


The unconstitutional and unconscionable processing times for pistol permits and concealed carry licenses that Shelby and her fellow citizens are being subjected to can and should be challenged in court, especially after the Supreme Court noted in Bruen that “shall-issue” regimes can still be called into question if they impose unreasonable fees or lengthy delays on applicants. Shelby is already a gun owner licensed by the state of New York to possess a rifle. It should be a matter of minutes, not years, to approve her for a pistol permit as well, but as long as New York Democrats can get away with it they’re going to make it as slow and painful a process for her and everyone else trying to exercise a fundamental civil right.

Join the conversation as a VIP Member