US gun sales increase by 80 percent

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A small arms business consulting firm, Small Arms Analytics & Forecasting (SAAF) has reported an 80.2 percent increase in US gun sales in May 2020 compared to May 2019.

The firm disclosed this in a statement released early June.

According to the firm, estimates showed that “May 2020 U.S. firearms unit sales (stood) at 1,726,053 units, a year-over-year increase of 80.2% from May 2019. Likely single handgun sales (1,052,723) increased year-over-year by 94.0% whereas single long-gun sales (535,014) increased year-over-year by 66.3%. All other likely background check-related sales (138,316) increased year-over-year by 48.2%. This includes so-called “multiple” sales where the allocation between handguns and long-guns cannot be determined from the data record.”

SAAF said its firearms unit sales estimates are based on raw data taken from the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), adjusted for checks unlikely to be related to end-user firearms sales.

“For example, the FBI’s raw numbers (for May, some 3,066,740) cannot be taken at face value as large numbers of background checks are unrelated to end-user sales. As a case in point, in May the state of Kentucky conducted close to 360,000 so-called permit checks and rechecks alone whereas end-user checks at firearms retailers likely amounted to about 38,000 checks. SAAF makes certain other adjustments to the data based on retailer reports and other information; nonetheless, the estimates still likely understate the “true” number of unit sales,” the statement read in part.

SAAF Chief Economist Jurgen Brauer added that “yet again, firearms sales have surged in unprecedented ways. In May 2020, very nearly two handguns were sold for every long-gun, pushing their ratio new record of 1.97.

“Traditionally, the ratio increases in the first half of the year before dropping off in the second half. Still, the boom in handgun sales has been particularly noticeable in recent months.”

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