Firearm sales in the U.S. soared in March as the coronavirus pandemic gripped the country.
Unit sales topped an estimated 2.5 million, up 85.3% year-over-year, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
Gun sales aren’t tracked in the U.S., but the FBI system is largely considered a proxy for sales by the firearms industry. The data is adjusted to exclude concealed carry background checks.
“The jump has no precedent in recorded history (i.e., over the past 20 years), but is presumably a ‘one-off’ effect even as it may carry for another month or two,” Jurgen Brauer, chief economist at Small Arms Analytics, told Bloomberg News.
Handgun sales increased 91.1% year-over-year, per Brauer’s analysis, and long-gun sales were up 73.6%.
“We expect continued positive headline growth numbers in coming months as Covid-19 uncertainty lingers,” Brett Andress, a firearms industry analyst at KeyBank Capital, wrote in a note on Wednesday afternoon.
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