There are at least 1,797,910 more guns in civilian hands today than there were in March, as gun sales continue to surge across the US.
Uncertainty about the future in the age of coronavirus seems to be the driving factor behind the historically huge increase.
A statement from website Ammo.com, which sells ammunition across the country, said, per CNN:
"The world has never seen anything like this and people want to make sure they're prepared for whatever lies ahead, whether that be food shortages, government shutdown, or worse. When everything around you is uncertain, having a supply of ammunition can make our customers feel safer."
By far, the favored firearm purchase is a handgun, Small Arms Analytics & Forecasting (SAAF), which tracks firearms business in the US, said.
April sales were 71.3% higher than April 2019 sales. Single handgun sales amounted to 1,085,046 while single long gun sales were 560,353.
"Once more, the spurt in firearms sales in April 2020 is particularly notable for its handgun component," Jurgen Brauer, SAAF's chief economist, said.
The FBI conducted 2,911,128 background checks generated by new firearm purchases in April, which was the largest amount of checks recorded in an April since the background check system began in 1998, Breitbart News reports.
March saw a surge of 3.7 million background checks, historically the most in any single month.
Firearms dealers are required to wait three days after a sale before delivering the firearm to a customer, to allow time for FBI background checks to process, but Larry Keane, general counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, has asked dealers to wait longer, USA Today reports.
"Whenever there's a period of uncertainty – 9/11, the stock market crash of '87 – firearm sales go up," Rob Southwick, of the market research firm Southwick Associates Inc, told CNN.
An unidentified salesman at a gun store in Woodbridge, N.J., told CNN, "Everyone, they want to have protection in case something happens. There's just an overall feeling of fear of being stranded or having to be isolated to protect their home if, God forbid, supplies become limited and people start looting."
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