By: José Niño
Despite a viral outbreak, gun sales are trucking along just fine, and society is not imploding like many fearmongers predicted.
The Facebook page called “The Shooters Hangout” posted, “Firearm revenue is up 309%. Crime is down. It’s almost like guns aren’t the problem.”
The numbers in this claim are drawn from figures the online firearms website Ammo.com recently published. It claims to have witnessed a 309 percent increase in revenue from February 23 to March 15 when compared to the previous 22 days. On April 1, the site reported a 792% uptick in sales from February 23 to March 31. “Our growth in sales directly correlates with the public’s increasing leeriness of COVID-19,” the company stated on its website.
Firearms and ammo sales have skyrocketed across the country while there are indicators of crime plummeting at the same time. The large surge in gun sales has been illustrated in the record number of background checks the federal government has processed. The Federal Bureau of Investigation confirmed carrying out 3.7 million background checks for firearm purchases in March. This is the highest number of background checks ever recorded in a span of month by the bureau. To put this in perspective, March 2020’s numbers were 1 million higher than March 2019.
In the period of March 16 to 22 alone, the FBI ran approximately 1.2 million background checks. More than 210,000 background checks were processed on March 20, a new single-day record. According to Small Arms Analytics and Forecasting, a research firm that analyzes the global firearms market, aforementioned background check numbers point to approximately 2.5 million guns being sold in March, an 85.3 percent increase from the same month in 2019.
The Trump administration previously designated gun stores, shooting ranges, and weapons manufacturers as essential infrastructure, whereas numerous blue states took advantage of the generalized crisis to sneak in gun grabs.
According to a recent report by USA TODAY, crime rates have been declining across the country during the pandemic. Since March 15, arrests have dropped by 47 percent when juxtaposed to the period of February 2 to February 29. USA TODAY also noted, “…the number of traffic stops barely registers in some localities.”
Although traditional crime has dipped, USA TODAY has also reported on a rise in domestic violence now that people are more confined to their homes.
Similarly, many judges and urban elected officials are rolling out anarcho-tyrannical schemes where they’re letting many “non-violent” offenders out under the guise of containing the Wuhan virus. In one occasion, a New York inmate with extensive priors assaulted an elderly man shortly after being released from prison due to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s concerns of the virus spreading within the New York prison system. On the other hand, law-abiding citizens are getting placed under de facto house arrest ,and people are being arrested for peaceful church gatherings.
As the late conservative commentator Sam Francis said best, “This is precisely the bizarre system of misrule I have elsewhere described as ‘anarcho-tyranny’—we refuse to control real criminals (that's the anarchy) so we control the innocent (that's the tyranny).”
Such situations show the importance of an armed citizenry. Americans simply cannot count on the police, the political class, and other external actors to protect them in instances where economic and institutional uncertainty abound.
The Founders were prescient in crafting the Second Amendment for situations like the one we’re currently facing. It’s ultimately law-abiding gun owners who are the most effective first responders when governments are derelict in their basic public duty to protect us.
José Niño is a Venezuelan American freelance writer based in Austin, Texas. Sign up for his mailing list here. Contact him via Facebook, Twitter, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Get his e-book, The 10 Myths of Gun Control, here.