Gun sales surged in May as shops reported an uptick in interest and demand as the coronavirus pandemic continued and amid national protests after the Memorial Day killing of George Floyd.
“Almost, you couldn’t even keep up with it – that’s how crazy it was,” said Joe Hawk, owner of Guns & Roses in New Jersey. “After Memorial Day, it spiked again – it just went crazy again.”
Small Arms Analytics & Forecasting, a private research firm, estimated that there were more than 1.7 million gun sales in May – an 80% jump from May 2019.
“Yet again, firearms sales have surged in unprecedented ways,” said Jurgen Brauer, the group’s chief economist.
The stock prices for several gunmaking companies, including Sturm, Ruger & Co., were also trending up as of Monday afternoon.
Gun shops are reporting increased interest amid national protests and tumult following the killing of Floyd, a black man, while he was in the custody of Minneapolis police.
Dealers had already reported a surge in demand as the public came to grips with the coronavirus pandemic in recent weeks and months.
There were more than 3 million checks run through the FBI’s national instant check system in May – about a 32% increase compared to May 2019.
The FBI checks don’t represent a one-to-one correlation to gun sales, but are used as a general approximation to gauge the health of the market.
SAAF and other market analysts subtract permit checks and other data unlikely to be related to gun sales from their reports.
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