Gun Buying Surge Slowing Down, But For Best Reason Possible

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

For over a year now, the number of guns being sold has been astronomical. Records have been shattered and the firearm industry is clearly out of whatever slump they were in prior to that.

It’s been kind of insane, but now things seem to be slowing down. If you look at the numbers, gun sales appear to be dropping. Of course, they appear that way because they are.

Are people no longer interested in buying guns? Well, not quite. They’ve stopped buying for a completely different reason.

Background checks for firearm sales decelerated in June, according to federal government and gun industry data, as consumers faced lean inventory in gun stores across America.

This is partly the result of high demand from a gun buying spree that has not stopped since the coronavirus pandemic swept through America in March 2020. It is also the result of supply chain disruptions and competition over raw materials that has rippled through the economy, causing shortages and inflation.

“You can’t sell what you don’t have, so sales haven’t been as brisk in the last few months as it was last year, simply because of inventory levels,” said Mark Peltier, a gun salesman at Dunnellon Jewelry & Pawn, in Dunnellon, Florida. “A lot of guns are unavailable and unobtainable.”

The Federal Bureau of Investigation reported 3.05 million background checks in June 2021, based in part on gun purchases. This is a decline of 5% from the prior month of May 2021, and a decline of 22% compared to the year-ago month of June 2020.

The gun industry group the National Shooting Sports Foundation breaks out a separate number, based on the FBI data, for background checks that were actually based on gun purchases. The NSSF says there were 1.27 million background checks conducted for gun sales in June 2021. The other background checks are conducted for various forms of licensing and registration.

“Firearm sales typically slow during summer months, with the exception of last year’s record firearm purchases,” said Mark Oliva, public affairs director for the NSSF. “These strong figures show that there is sustained interest in lawful possession of firearms. 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.”

Oliva is likely right. President Obama wasn’t referred to as the gun salesman of the year for eight years running for nothing, and Biden is far more anti-gun than the previous Democrat in the Oval Office.

Plus, we still have sky-high violent crime, which often tends to drive people to purchase guns in the first place.

The demand ain’t coming down anytime soon.

However, if there’s ever an acceptable reason for people to be prevented from buying guns, can’t we agree that this is it? It’s not a law that’s stopping anyone, it’s that demand is so high that manufacturers just can’t keep up with it. You can’t buy what’s not on the shelves.

As today is Independence Day, let’s take a moment and thank God that we live in a country where we can actually buy up the inventory to the point that there just aren’t many guns available anymore.

God bless America.

Jul 31, 2021 8:30 AM ET