Using statistics provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), firearms checks provided publicly show that over 9.7 million guns were purchased in the last three months (March, April, and May 2020).
The number of guns sold in this three-month period is up over 2.4 million more gun sales from the same time frame last year – a 32 percent increase over last year’s three month period.
The LA Times reported in March that “guns sales were booming” particularly in those states hit hardest by the coronavirus.
The Guardian also reported that the “pandemic has created a surge in demand, with some gun stores inundated with panic-buyers.” As noted in the Guardian article, the FBI firearms checks do not represent the actual numbers of guns sold, but it is the best approximation for determining the number of gun sales. “Americans can buy multiple guns from a licensed gun dealer with a single background check, meaning that the number of checks conducted does not reflect the total number of guns sold.