Record Firearm Sales Numbers Recorded in April

posted on May 12, 2020

April 2020 was another record-setter for gun sales, although figures did not come close to the scalding pace of March 2020. Small Arms Analytics & Forecasting (SAAF) estimated the number of firearms sold last month in the United States was 1,797,910, an increase of 71.3 percent when compared to the same reporting period last year. The organization’s estimate of gun sales in April 2019—to put the annual increase in perspective—came in at less than one million, and it continued what was then a three-month decline.

Figures for April 2020 pale by comparison to the 2,583,238 firearms sold during March 2020, however declines during tax season are a historic trend. This year, the deadline for filing was extended to July 15, and there was no shortage of enthusiasts making purchases through an FFL.

In fact, April 13 to 19 now holds ninth position among the top-10 weeks of National Instant Criminal Background System (NICS) check volume processed by the FBI. March 16 to 22 (2020) holds the current record in the category, with a total of 1,197,788. Six on the list are from this year and March now owns half of the bureau’s daily records.

NICS checks include administrative use of the system, including carry permits, which render the raw numbers an inaccurate reflection of actual gun sales. They are, however, considered a relative barometer of purchases and SAAF and the National Shooting Sports Foundation employ a variety of methods to distill the data into a more precise estimate. Further clouding the issue, are those locations in which enthusiasts with a valid concealed-carry permit are not subjected to another NICS check for purchases.

A SAAF press release dissected the buyer preference for April. “Likely single handgun sales (1,085,046) increased year-over-year by 83.1% whereas single long-gun sales (560,353) increased year-over-year by 51.7%,” it states. “All other likely background check-related sales (152,512) increased year-over-year by 74.6%.”


Shotgun patterning target with infographic for shot string and lead pellets
Shotgun patterning target with infographic for shot string and lead pellets

How To Pattern A Shotgun

Want to hit more birds—clay or feathered? Then you need to spend some time at the patterning board. Patterning your shotgun is as important as sighting-in your rifle before going afield. Here’s why.

Preview: Fiocchi USA Golden Turkey

Nickel-plated lead shot in 3" loads for 12- and 20-ga. shotguns are now available from Fiocchi USA.

Review: CZ P-10 M

Five years after the release of the P-10 in 2016, CZ-USA introduced a new, more compact version of its successful striker-fired, polymer-framed pistol with the CZ P-10 M. 

Beretta's Model 1301: Fast, Reliable And Attractive

Seven versions are available today, each wearing synthetic stocks and chambered to handle 12-ga. shotshells up to 3" in length. There are five members in the Tactical Model 1301 family—color choices include all black, FDE, marine and OD green.

2022 NRA Board Election Results

The National Rifle Association is pleased to announce the preliminary results of the 2022 Board of Directors election.

Rifleman Q&A: Military Krag Loads

I recently acquired a U.S. Krag rifle for my collection, and I want to replicate ballistics and performance of the arm—as well as for my .45-70 Trapdoor—using the original government loadings.


Get the best of American Rifleman delivered to your inbox.