Twenty-one million. Let that number sink in for a moment.
At SHOT Show® last year that the industry would see 21 million background checks for the sale of a firearm in 2020.
One year later and with the benefit of hindsight, this was truly a remarkable year for the industry across the board.
The final figures for the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) put all of this year’s hard work into perspective.
Twenty-one million background checks were conducted for the sale of a firearm over the past 12 months.That topped 2019’s totals of 13.2 million by 60 percent.
It also shattered the previous record from 2016, when 15.7 million background checks were conducted for the sale of firearms.
NSSF estimates that 8.4 million people bought a firearm for the first time in 2020. That’s 40 percent of all purchases.
Forty percent of 2020’s buyers were women and the biggest increase of any demographic category was among African Americans, who bought guns at a rate of 58 percent greater than in 2019.
When the rest of America was shutting down, NSSF’s team made sure gun manufacturers, distributors, retailers and ranges weren’t forced to close their doors.
It was apparent early that Americans in every state were choosing to exercise their Second Amendment rights in record numbers and that’s not possible unless manufacturers are turning raw metal into finished firearms and ammunition.
Even while the firearm industry was cranking production to record levels, they were also serving their communities.
Brownells offered computer server space to run modeling tests for vaccine research. Federal Premium, SIG SAUER, Radians, Smith & Wesson, Versacarry, Keltec and Ruger were among many of the firearm businesses that converted manufacturing space or donated supplies to help first responders.