Thursday, January 7, 2021

A Divided America - Firearms Ownership and Partisan Politics

With the United States in a state of ongoing partisan turmoil, recent data released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation shows how some Americans are responding to the societal and political uncertainties.


Here is an up-to-date screen capture from the Federal Bureau of Investigation's website showing the number of firearms background checks (NICS) on a monthly basis going back to 1998:



While every background check does not result in the purchase of a firearm, one can still assume that a substantial percentage of these background checks will result in the purchase of a firearm (or firearms).  As you will see later in this posting, sales of firearms in America have shown significant growth.


As you can see, 2020 was a record year for firearms background checks in the United States.  For all of 2020, 39,695,315 background checks were initiated, up 11,325,565 or 39.9 percent on a year-over-year basis.  The highest month was December when 3,937,066 background checks were initiated, up 1,000,172 or 34.1 percent from the same month in 2019.  For the entire year, there were 8 months which had in excess of 3 million background checks initiated and in all twelve months, there were more bacround checks initiate when compared to 2019.  If we look back one decade to 2010, the number of background checks has risen by 275.5 percent from 14,033,824 to its current level of 39,695,315.


According to Statista, here are the monthly unit sales of firearms broken down by type in the United States from January 2019 to August 2020:


When we compare firearms sales in the month of August 2020 to that of August 2019, sales rose from 1,160,550 units in 2019 to 1,780,000 in August 2020, an increase of 53 percent on a year-over-year basis. 


This has led to this for Smith & Wesson:


...and this for Sturm, Ruger and Company:


Given this from Joe Biden's campaign:



... and these statistics about gun laws:


....and these statistics about gun ownership:

...firearm ownership and gun control are proving to be yet another divisive issue in the United States, a significant concern given the record level of firearms background checks that have been initiated in 2020 particularly given the highly partisan political climate in Washington.

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