January, 2021 Sets New Record For Gun Sales

gun sales

Americans purchased more guns in January 2021 than any other month on record.

American citizens purchased 4,137,480 firearms, which is a rise of 60% over last January. For reference, in 1999, Americans purchased 9,138,123 firearms for the entire year. Gun ownership has exploded since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and the civil unrest that gripped the nation over the summer. Americans watched rioters burn cities and loot businesses throughout the country. This perfect storm of chaos saw the gun market explode. Last year, gun sales hit an all-time high of 39,695,315, a 40% increase over 2019.

Michigan, Rhode Island, and Maryland saw the most significant increase in gun sales last year. Firearms sales increased by over 100% in those three states. The only state that saw a decrease in gun sales was Kentucky, which saw a decline of just under 20%, but still saw the sale of 3,330,462 firearms. The FBI stats don’t include the number of private sales in states that do not have universal background checks.

Gun sales had risen in most years since 1998 when the FBI started tracking gun sales using National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). Some analysts think the increase in gun sales since 1999 has to do with the explosion of concealed handgun permits. Currently, all states have some form of concealed carry, even if it is tough to qualify for a concealed carry permit.

Another reason for the increase in gun sales could be the explosion in firearms ownership in non-traditional demographics. Gun purchases among women have increased by 40% since this time last year. According to a National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) survey, black Americans purchased 58% more firearms than in previous years. Many of these gun buyers are new firearms owners.

It is just not women and black Americans buying their first firearm. Hispanics have seen almost a 50% rise in firearms purchases. Asian’s gun purchases increased by nearly 43%. Overall, gun purchases have increased across all demographics, and there are no signs of sales slowing down. Even with the trend of rising firearms sales since 1999, it doesn’t explain the massive jump in sales during 2020 and the first month of 2021.

According to the NSSF, five million Americans purchased their first firearm in the first seven months of 2020. New firearms purchases have slowed down the processing of pistol permits in states that require a permit to buy a handgun. Mecklenburg County, NC, is currently four months behind on processing pistol buying permits and concealed handgun permits. This delay causes an artificial bottleneck for gun buyers seeking to purchase their first gun. The Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Department told AmmoLand they are currently moving resources to help clear the backlog.

One issue the increase in gun sales has caused the firearms industry is the lack of ammunition. Americans are also buying ammunition at an astounding rate. Even with Ammunition companies running their machines around the clock, they are not keeping up with the demand. The companies are getting into bidding wars for components, which drive up prices for consumers.

There is no end in sight to the great American gun-buying spree. With the Biden/Harris administration promising gun control, gun sales will most likely increase instead of decrease.

Welcome to the new normal.

About John Crump

John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, or at www.crumpy.com.


  1. Does the author honestly believe citizens are arming themselves due to some Antifa/BLM looters or a non-existent virus?

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