Concerns about increased violence and crime continue to fuel a surge in gun purchases and background checks.
The FBI set a record for May in background checks. The bureau's latest data suggests 2021 will be another record year for background checks and sales, topping the nearly 40 million checks last year, the Washington Examiner reported Wednesday.
A total of 3.22 million background checks were performed in May, according to Forbes. That number was down 8% from 3.51 million in April but up 4% from 3.09 million in May 2020.
Inventory of firearms is low and the availability of ammunition is scarce due to the demand for weapons.
"Today our clients are buying anything that is not nailed down, and if it is nailed down some are bringing pry bars," said Clay Ausley, who co-owns Fuquay Gun & Gold in Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina. "We are selling whatever we can get in stock and pretty much as quickly as it comes in, it typically goes right back out."
Background checks and gun purchases are not a 1-to-1 match because checks also are conducted for security clearances and concealed carry permits in some cases.
But the record pace indicates the growing popularity of weapons. The Examiner reported gun stores and industry officials said the increase in buying weapons has been driven by minorities and women, especially in urban areas, concerned about their safety.
The current year is on pace to double the number of background checks and sales of just six years ago, when 23 million checks were conducted.
Although Democrats and the mainstream media promote gun control and blame the murder rate on weapons, statistics show a large percentage of the population has not been convinced.
Polls also show that many Americans are against the anti-gun efforts of President Joe Biden.
"There has never, not once, been an accepted study that correlated increased violent crime with increased gun sales," said Justin Anderson, the marketing director for Hyatt Guns of Charlotte, North Carolina, one of the nation's biggest gun stores. "In fact, it’s been proven over and over again that an armed populace is a polite populace. Criminals, for the most part, do not acquire their guns legally.
"The reason gun sales are going through the roof is simple: Law-abiding citizens are afraid. They are afraid of violent crime. They are afraid of the lawlessness that has been spread by riotous criminals. They are afraid of an inept and tyrannous government. In essence, people are starting to realize what most gun owners have known for years: You are your own first responder and that when seconds count, the police are only minutes away."
The weapons industry is fueled by at least 8 million new gun buyers, according to data from the National Shooting Sports Foundation, Forbes reported.
"These 9 million new buyers, many of whom are women and people of color, bring true new demand to this market," Jason Vanderbrink, president of ammunition for Vista Outdoor, said during his employer’s investor day online event May 26.