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April 11, 2022

The Big Reveal: New Gun Buyers Not Buying Gun Control

By Salam Fatohi

Rising crime rates continue to remind Americans that they are their own first responder when it comes to their personal safety. Police work hard to protect communities but can’t be at all places at all times. That reality gained a newfound importance at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

March of 2020, things changed for gun-buying patterns in America. It was the same month that pandemic lockdowns began and police warned their own departments were affected too. Calls to 9-1-1, some departments warned, would be triaged, or worse, not answered for lack of manpower. That was before the violence that erupted after the unfortunate death of George Floyd and the crime rate that hasn’t seemed to abate.

Gun-buying by Americans hit record rates and it included new groups many never associated with lawful firearm ownership.

Nothing to See Here

Despite the fact that numerous cities across the country were literally on fire, prominent talking heads and media personalities in the antigun arena, activists and politicians alike all went into overdrive to discourage the wave of new gun buyers.

“You can’t shoot the virus!” mocked the media. “4 Reasons Not to Buy a Gun,” chided another. President Joe Biden’s failed nominee to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), David Chipman, even likened pandemic first-time gun buyers to Joe Exotic, the Tiger King, and said they more closely resemble zombie apocalypse preppers.

It’s nothing new. Gun control advocates have pushed this same unrealistic narratives for so long that the general public is no longer listening.

Caricature vs. Reality

The facts show otherwise. New gun owners broke the mold when practically every color and creed flooded their local retailer to legally purchase a firearm, many for self-defense. NSSF’s retailer surveys from 2020 and 2021 showed a dramatic increase of both minorities and women electing to exercise their Second Amendment rights. All told more than 14 million Americans purchased their first firearm, at the same time making the gun-owning community more diverse than ever before.

A new survey from the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago compiled similar demographics indiciating an increase in People of Color participating in firearm commerce. American gun owners don’t only look different than previous years, they’re bringing a fresh attitude about firearm ownership and it may be due to the fact that these new gun owners, according to NORC, are largely young and educated.

“We found that their views align really well with other gun owners even though demographically they’re so different,” said NORC senior fellow John Roman.

There may be a very convoluted answer to explain this group having such identical views on a narrow topic. The explanation could be quite simple. Law-abiding Americans are not falling for antigun narrative anymore. The study showed almost every gun control talking point crumbled in the past two years, while gun owners increased. The data suggests that this population of consumers, the first-time gun buyers, are vastly aware of the misleading rhetoric, as reflected in more of NORC’s findings.

A clear majority of first-time gun buyers, nearly 70 percent, believe conceal carry should be expanded. This majority also wants to shorten unconstitutional waiting periods to legally buy a gun and also supports qualified teachers being able to conceal carry in order to protect their students.

Bottom Line

These new gun owners are putting gun control advocates in check and the NORC study confirms it. More Americans continue to exercise their Second Amendment rights and remain eager to obtain firearm training every day.

They understand the reality that criminals do not abide by the law and they are their own best line of defense. That notion is confirmed by a CDC-funded study that showed firearms are used for self-defense exponentially more than they are wrongfully used in crime.

Crime plaguing the country in the last two years has driven the desire for self-reliance, especially regarding personal safety. When something as dramatic as the pandemic upended social norms, average Americans realized they had to take their personal safety into their own hands, and their appetite for gun control is vanishing.

You may also be interested in:

New Gun Owners Are Bucking Gun Control’s Broad Strokes

NSSF President Joe Bartozzi Extends Welcome to First-time Gun Owners in New Video

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