An estimated 1.9 million firearms were sold in October this year, a 65% spike from the same month in 2019, according to data provided by Small Arms Analytics and Forecasting (SAAF), a research group that examines the raw data obtained from the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS.
SAAF Chief Economist Jurgen Brauer said in a Monday press release that an estimated 18.6 million firearms have been sold so far this year, as 2020 “continues on its record firearms sales pace.”
Just last month, the SAAF announced the number of guns sold from January to September 2020 -- 16.7 million -- had surpassed the previous annual high of 16.6 million firearms, which were sold from January to December 2016.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation, a gun industry trade group, estimated slightly different statistics, finding that 1,769,553 firearms were sold in October, a 60.1% increase from October 2019, based on its own formula using NICS data.
Despite the differences, both groups have reported record-breaking numbers.
NSSF spokesperson Mark Oliva said Monday that every month since March “has been the strongest of that month ever recorded.”
“This much is clear as we head into Election Day. Americans of all political persuasions are exercising their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms and doing so in record numbers,” Oliva said in an email to reporters. “This hasn’t been a phenomenon of just red states, but also blue states. Never before have so many Americans chosen to exercise their right to firearm ownership, including the estimated 6.9 million who purchased a firearm for the first time this year.”
According to the SAAF, each month from March through July saw even greater surges in sales figures, with June seeing the highest increase -- a 145% surge in gun sales compared to the previous year, with more than 2.38 million guns sold, according to previously released SAAF data.
But August and September saw less staggering, although still increased, sales numbers of 57.8% and 66%, respectively.