(CNS News) -- Since January 2020, nearly 5 million Americans purchased guns for the first time, making up nearly 40% of all retail shop gun sales, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), which is the firearm industry trade association.
The FBI's National Instant Background Check System (NICS) shows there were 12.1 million checks between January through July 2020, an increase of 71.7% from "the 7.1 million NSSF-adjusted NICS January through July 2019," reported the association. "This equates to nearly 5 million first-time gun owners in the first seven months of 2020."
“This is a tectonic shift in the firearm and ammunition industry marketplace and complete transformation of today’s gun-owning community,” said NSSF Senior Vice President Lawrence G. Keane.
“These first-time buyers represent a group of people who, until now, were agnostic regarding firearm ownership," said Keane. "That’s rapidly changing, and these Americans are taking hold of their God-given right to keep and bear arms and protect themselves and their loved ones.”
The NSSF data also show that 58% of gun sales were among black Americans, " the largest increase of any demographic group." In addition, "women comprised 40 percent of first-time gun purchasers."
Retail gun shops reported that ammunition sales between January and June 2020 increased 135% compared to the same timeframe in 2019.
"[F]irearm sales typically rise during presidential election years," said the NSSF. "However, this year, Democratic candidates Joe Biden and U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) are calling for stringent gun control measures, including forcible confiscation, banning entire classes of firearms from lawful possession, licensing schemes and repealing the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which would expose the firearm industry to frivolous and harassing lawsuits."