Survey: Gun, ammo sales surging amid coronavirus pandemic, civil unrest

NEW YORK -- Gun sales have increased 95 percent while ammunition sales have increased 139 percent compared to the same period last year, according to a new survey by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF).

Retailers nationwide reported a record 10.3 million firearm transactions in the first half of 2020, with approximately 92 percent reporting an increase in ammuniation sales and 87 percent reporting an increase in firearm sales, the NSSF survey reveals.

The survey noted that the demographics of customers who purchased guns and ammo consisted of 55.8 percent White males, 16.6 percent White females, 9.3 percent Black males, 5.4 percent Black females, 6.9 percent Hispanic males, 2.2 percent Hispanic females, 3.1 percent Asian males and 0.7 percent Asian females.

Photo courtesy of the National Shooting Sports Foundation

"The highest overall firearm sales increase comes from Black men and women who show a 58.2 percent increase in purchases during the first six months of 2020 versus the same period last year," NSSF Director of Research and Market Development Jim Curcuruto said in a statement.

White men and women had the second largest firearm sales increase at 51.9 percent, followed by Hispanic men and women at 49.4 percent, and Asian men and women at 42.9 percent.

"Bottom line is that there has never been a sustained surge in firearm sales quite like what we are in the midst of," Curcuto added.

The findings come as civil unrest continues across the country sparked by the death of George Floyd, who was killed in Minneapolis while in police custody on May 25, and as violent crime has been on the rise in recent weeks in cities across the United States.

Photo courtesy of the National Shooting Sports Foundation

According to the New York Police Department, there was a 130 percent increase in the number of shooting incidents across the city in June, while the homicide rate is up 23 percent for the first half of 2020 compared to the previous year.

In Chicago, homicides jumped 39 percent from the last week of June to the first week of July compared to the same period last year. Meanwhile, the homicide rate in Los Angeles has seen a double digit rise over the past two months.

The news also comes as the coronavirus pandemic has infected more than 3.9 million Americans, according to the latest update from Johns Hopkins University. While more than 1.2 million Americans have recovered, there were more than 142,000 deaths in the United States.

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