An analysis of FBI background records shows a large spike of gun sales in swing states heading into the 2020 presidential election, the NY Post is reporting.
FBI data showed that the bureau processed 93% more background checks nationwide during March-July 2020 compared to 2019. Swing states, states that could vote for President Donald Trump or Democratic challenger former Vice President Joe Biden, also saw big spikes in gun sales. Those include:
- Arizona +84.5% increase in background checks
- Florida +59.4%
- Michigan +114
- Pennsylvania +27.7%
- Wisconsin +66.6%
- New Hampshire +78.9%
- North Carolina +114.5%
In total, gun sales was up an average of 77.9% in those swing states over 2019, the NY Post reported.
Fear fueling spike in gun sales
There are often spikes in gun sales during presidential election years. Fear of a new administration championing gun control measures fuels those spikes. Gun sales surged after the election of President Barack Obama. Republicans repeatedly said Obama would force through strict gun laws, despite his and his campaign’s insistence to the contrary.
But in this election, the second amendment hasn’t been a major issue. Though Biden supports more gun control measures, the topic isn’t a major factor with voters, the New York Times reported.
What is driving this run on guns is the coronavirus and civil unrest. NPR reported that there was a noticeable spike in gun sales after COVID-19 deaths began to rise in the United States. Purchases also increased rapidly after the police killing of George Floyd, the shooting of Jacob Blake, and rioting in Kenosha, Wisc.
“When people see the violence that they see on television – and people understand the difference between peaceful protesters and violent rioters – they see, you know, the sunset and then the fires start and see the assaults and the looting and the breaking and destruction of private property,” Dana Loesch, former spokesperson for the NRA told Fox Business. “When people see that, obviously they want to go out and purchase firearms. They want to make sure that they’re protected.”
This increase is likely to carry on as protests and riots continue across the United States.
Riots erupted Wednesday night in Louisville after a grand jury decided not to charge any of the three officers in the killing of Breonna Taylor. A now-former Louisville police detective was charged with three counts of wanton endangerment in the case for shooting into a home next to Taylor’s with people inside.