19 millions firearms were sold in 2021 – that there are records of. Note that this doesn’t include many, many purchases between private parties where buyers and sellers are not required to keep records, as is perfectly legal in many places – like here in Alaska. Excerpt:
The Great Gun Run of 2020 may have subsided slightly in 2021, but it’s clear that there’s still red-hot demand for rifles, pistols, and shotguns among American citizens. According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, there were more than 18-million firearms sold at retail last year, which is the second highest figure on record behind the 21-million or so that were sold in 2020.
The NSSF’s Mark Oliva notes that the strong sales have taken place as more of us have started thinking seriously about our personal safety and the deteriorating conditions in many American cities.
“This has also happened as the firearm industry faced significant challenges and new opportunities,” Oliva noted in a press release.
Wondering why? Here’s one reason:
And the demand is definitely growing, including in some unlikely places. Russell Stuart, who owns the lone gun store in Beverly Hills, California, says business is booming as a result of the increasing violence across the Los Angeles area.
“There are a lot of people here who do not fall into the rich category. Firearms and public safety is not a rich issue. We’ve seen an uptick in watch robberies, car thefts, follow-home invasions because of the climate of crime in Beverly Hills and throughout the Greater Los Angeles area. People have been driven to focus more on their own personal safety,” said Stuart.
That includes 24-year-old Emily Junkins of Los Angeles, who bought a gun from Stuart after two shootings took place on her street corner.
“There’s a ton of families that live around here. This is a really good, cute area and it really just started to go downhill about a year ago and made me feel unsafe as a citizen and as a young woman who lives alone. I just took matters into my own hands. I felt that was the best option,” said Junkins.
Customer Sherry Tedeschi of Beverly Hills says she no longer feels safe in the city she’s lived in for 50 years. The Dec. 1, 2021 murder of longtime Beverly Hills resident Jackie Avant left Tedeschi frightened.
“We have crime right here. Across the street they had a safe stolen out of the wall. A lot of us are watching one another now,” said Tedeschi.
People don’t feel safe. People in big, blue cities don’t feel safe. They also, obviously, don’t feel that the police are going to keep them safe; understandable, given the free reign given to rioters, arsonists and looters all that long ago; also understandable given the decriminalizing of a wide range of offenses. So these folks are taking steps to protect themselves.
One would think that would spell the death of proposed gun-control laws in those places, wouldn’t one? One would probably be wrong. Never underestimate the power of cognitive dissonance; plenty of voters in these blue cities will still vote for the very people seeking to strip them of the right to self-defense they are now exercising.
I’d like to think some self-awareness might result from this whole mess. But given past experience, I’m not optimistic.