As the US grappled with COVID-19 and some rioters caused damage after hijacking peaceful protests for racial equality, more Americans appear to be arming themselves.
In July 2020, the FBI conducted over 3.6 million firearm background checks, making it the third highest month for checks since the bureau began keeping records in 1998. The bureau conducted just over two million checks in July 2019.
Background checks associated with the sale, transfer or permitting of firearms set an all-time high in June when the FBI conducted over 3.9 million checks, followed by March when the agency saw 3.7 million checks.
Under US law, federally licensed gun dealers must run checks on every buyer.
A spokesperson for the National Rifle Association – one of the nation’s largest gun-rights organizations – said, “Firearm sales go up in times of uncertainty because Americans know their safety is ultimately in their own hands.”