Low Inventory, COVID Restrictions Slow Black Friday Gun Sales

by
posted on December 3, 2020
november-sales-up-nearly-50-percent.jpg

Low inventory and pandemic-related safety restrictions contributed to gun sales on Black Friday falling short of expectations that it would set an all-time record for purchases in a single day. By the end of October, 2020 had already claimed top honors for the most firearm transfers conducted through the FBI NICS system in a single year, a fact that fueled the speculation.

A Forbes article earlier this week explained part of the reason the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season fell short of the conjecture was timing. It was the first day North Carolina made face masks mandatory, for example, and some FFLs hired security to enforce the requirement. Social distancing also wound customer lines around the store or out the door, where some undoubtedly decided to come back another, less-crowded day.

Similarly, COVID-19 restrictions in California reduced occupancy limits. “We were still busy, but we were down 50% because California is on lockdown,” a store manager in Poway told the reporter. “We could only allow a certain number of people inside at a time, so it really hindered what we can do.”

Inventory has been depleted by sheer volume and what the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) estimates to be 7.7 million first-time firearm owners. Shoppers also started early, according to the FBI’s list of highest volume weeks in the system’s history. The 2nd to the 8th and 9th to the 15th are now numbers four and eight on that chart, respectively. In fact, 9 of the top 10 sales volumes in a seven-day period took during 2020.

Despite the limited selection, the torrid pace of gun sales continued in November. The NSSF estimates the total number sold last month that resulted in a NICS check was 1,949,141. That figure represents an increase of 45.2 percent over 2019 and does not include total volume in areas where holders of a valid carry permit are not subjected to the redundant background check.

Nov. 24, 2017, still holds top position for the most firearm purchases made on Black Friday, with 203,806—well above this year’s 186,645. Even Nov. 29, 2019, saw a higher volume, with the FBI recording a total of 202,465 NICS checks. The 2020 mark, however, holds third place for the post-Thanksgiving shopping frenzy and is now the fourth highest day on record in a system that began back in 1998.

March 20 of this year is tops on the single-day record chart with 210,308.

Latest

ARTV2908IHTOG 2
ARTV2908IHTOG 2

I Have This Old Gun: SKS Carbine

Watch this American Rifleman Television segment of "I Have This Old Gun" from 2020 to learn about the Russian SKS carbine, chambered in 7.62x39 mm.

Browning Buck Mark: A Rimfire Repeater Rooted In History

John Moses Browning invented yet another in the long list of firearms to his credit in 1914. This one was a semi-automatic rimfire pistol design that lives on to this day in the Browning Buck Mark.

Preview: Lee Precision Ultimate Lock Rings

Made for 7/8x14 TPI loading dies and designed to provide repeatable results each and every time, Lee Precision Ultimate Lock Rings are a must-have item on the loading bench.

Langdon Tactical Partners With Heckler & Koch

The lineup will include the P30, P30L and P30SK all in DA/SA and LEM options, along with the California-compliant P2000 model in DA/SA. In addition, Langdon will also be offering custom work on existing P30s and P2000s.

Preview: The Original Hammer Target

Steel targets and their respective stands are often cumbersome and heavy, making it a real chore to trek through rough terrain when placing targets, but Hammer Targets provides a simple solution with its target-and-stand system.

Handloads: A .338 Win. Mag. For Elk

Arguments never end about which cartridges are adequate for the hunting of elk. Nobody has ever said, however, that a bullet fired from a .338 Win. Mag. lacks enough power for that task.

Interests



Get the best of American Rifleman delivered to your inbox.