AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Election season typically means a spike in gun sales and the trend is breaking a record this year.
Gun sales are up and we know that based on the required background checks needed to make a purchase. 2020 set a record and many of those buyers are not your traditional ones.
NewsChannel 6 spoke with Gregg Murray, Political Science Professor at Augusta University. He said,
“Part of the Democrat policy preferences a lot of times are stronger or stricter gun restrictions.”
It’s the race that happens every presidential election year. The National Shooting Sports Foundation reports concealed carry permit holders grew seven fold in 20 years and that number continues to rise.
Murray said their fears are validated because anyone could win the seat in the White House and several congressional seats up for grabs too.
“I think there is a pretty strong probability that if the democratic politicians, that would be former Vice President Joe Biden wins the presidency and then democrats take control of the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House. I think there is probably a strong possibility that they will do something to enact some stricter gun laws,” he said.
While it does not represent how many firearms are sold, The FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System for firearms shows people have already broke the 2016 record. This year through September, 28.8 million firearm background checks have been initiated compared to 27.5 million in all of 216.
Georgia has already surpassed its 2016 firearm background checks while South Carolina is close.
Murray said the unraveling climate of 2020 also contributes.
“A lot of the civil unrest that we’ve seen over the past six months or so, I think that’s created a lot of uncertainty for people and maybe created an impression that society is more violent or getting more violent.”
NSSF also reports that women and minorities are among the highest purchasers and this year, first time buyers exceeded nearly 5 million.
NRA and SLED CWP Instructor Mike Ludwikoski said he’s seen all of the trends in the CSRA. He told us women permits are up 26.4% between 2016 and 2020. African American numbers are up 55.6% and Asians have increased 62.9%. He said demand began in the CSRA in early 2020.
He added, “For classes, asking about instruction, asking about where to go, where to get equipment, how to use the equipment.”
Ludwikoski and his wife have helped to license more than one thousand people in five years. And, despite the FBI reporting the highest background check days being in March at the start of the pandemic, he said this year they noticed an uptick in January.
“We did stop our larger classes” he said. “We cut the class sizes down and then we stopped in person classes altogether for the most part. We did a lot of instruction, as much as we could virtually.”