Why are US arms sales breaking records?

According to a poll, the percentage of Americans willing to tighten laws related to the possession, purchase or sale of weapons has dropped from 60% in 2019 to 53% this year.

Today the USA is the most armed country in the world.

There are almost 400 million guns per 330 million inhabitants, according to a 2018 Washington Post study.

Recently, the Pew Research Center and Gallup polled Americans about attitudes towards guns, gun violence, and possible tightening of laws governing the purchase, sale, and possession of certain types of weapons.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, sales of small arms have broken all records. The Federal Bureau of Investigation reports that in January and February 2021, employees processed almost 7.5 million inquiries and personal data of gun buyers. Stephen Gutowski (editor in chief “Reload”), an expert on weapons in American society and editor of Reload magazine, is confident that the social conditions caused by the pandemic played a role:

“During this pandemic, over the past year in America, we have seen a huge surge in civilian gun purchases. And this has really led to an expansion of the demographics of gun owners. We see that representatives of ethnic minorities began to buy more weapons, and also, there were many more women. Citizens acquire weapons at higher prices than before. In America, guns are actually on the rise.”

The increase in sales of small arms was partly due to the decision of officials in Washington, who included gun stores in the list of businesses selling essentials, says Manuel Oliver (advocate for gun control) – an activist who advocates for tight gun control . His son, Joaquin Oliver, died in 2018 along with 16 other students and a teacher during a shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

“During the COVID epidemic, the authorities considered weapons to be essential. And spread ideas about what we should be afraid of. This is terrible! We are afraid of each other, we do not trust each other, we kill each other. There is a war going on in America. She’s coming right now. And guess who the enemy is? We are our own enemies. We are fighting with ourselves and losing the war. The only beneficiaries are the arms manufacturers,” says Manuel Oliver.
Meanwhile, the administration of President Joe Biden and Democratic politicians are serious about pushing for a total ban on the possession of semi-automatic rifles. They are even considering the possibility of launching, using the example of Australia, a “national barrel buyback program”. To begin with, Biden ordered the US Department of Justice and law enforcement agencies to withdraw from sale the so-called ghost weapons – these are home-made firearms, without manufacturer’s serial numbers.

“Purchasers of these weapon assembly kits are not required to undergo any background checks. Any criminal or terrorist can buy such a kit, and in 30 minutes the deadly weapon is ready. We’ve had enough! I will do everything in my power to protect the American people from this epidemic of gun violence, and the time has come for Congress to act,” US President Joe Biden said during his first State of the Union address in April 2021.

In 2020, the United States set an anti-record for the scale of mass shooting – 610 incidents.

Since the beginning of this year, there have been about 150 cases, according to the National Gun Crime Database.

Nearly half of Pew and Gallup poll participants consider gun violence to be a very serious problem. And at the same time, the proportion of Americans willing to tighten laws related to owning, buying or selling guns has dropped from 60% in 2019 to 53% this year.

The Second Amendment to the US Constitution guarantees the right of a citizen to own a gun. In 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court, in District of Columbia v. Heller, ruled that the Second Amendment also allows the possession and carrying of weapons for personal purposes, and not just members of the militia. Gun owners cite self-defense as the top reason for buying a handgun or rifle, the survey says.

Reload editor Steven Gatowski points out that, “during the Obama administration, the Department of Justice conducted an audit that showed that the number of cases of use of weapons in self-defense outweighed the number of cases of use of weapons during criminal acts of a violent nature.”
Speaking before Congress, President Biden called the current surge in gun violence an epidemic that he intends to fight alongside a pandemic.