Americans are arming themselves more than ever. Since 2019, gun sales are soaring up 94% over last year.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation reported the sales increase from the same March-to-July period from the year prior. Furthermore, 40% of those sales went to first-time buyers, The Washington Times reports.
As for Smith & Wesson, one of the biggest gun makers in the country, the company plans to boost production. From the beginning of May through July of this year, the firearm manufacturer is reporting a 140% increase in gun sales.
Mark Smith, the president and CEO of Smith & Wesson, spoke out on the sales uptick during a call last week with investors. “Consumer demand for our products during the quarter still exceeded our internal manufacturing capacity levels, ” Smith said. “We’re continuing to ramp up. We’re going to go to maximum capacity.”
In terms of demographics, the group seeing the biggest increase in gun ownership is among Black people. Sales are up 58% in the Black community.
What’s the Reasoning Behind the Increase in Gun Sales?
Rick Green, a gun safety instructor in Austin, Texas credits the surge in sales to both the pandemic and rioting.
“We have five times as many people as normal — it’s off the charts,” Green said during an interview. “It’s people from every walk of life, young, old. More than half are females. It’s unfortunate that it’s driven by fear, but it is. They’re watching people be attacked, and not just in the streets, but in the suburbs now. It caused more and more people to say, ‘I need to be ready.’”
Green feels that given the riots and protesting that more Americans may rely on themselves for protection, as opposed to relying on the police.
“I think the burden is just shifting from, ‘I’m going to count on government to do all this for me,’ to ‘wait a minute, I am the government. We the people, we’re in charge. And I have a duty and responsibility,’” he said. “I am encouraged by that. It’s a healthy thing for the country.”
[H/T The Washington Times]