Vermont gun sales down

Samuel Stebbins, 24/7 Wall St. via The Center Square

Gun sales in America, as estimated by background checks, jumped at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and remained high until well into 2021. Several days and weeks in that period set all-time records. Total sales were 28,369,750 in 2019 and 39,659315 in 2020. These figures come from the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System — firearm background checks are often used as a proxy for gun sales.

During the period of the increase, the number of first-time gun buyers jumped. Sales also rose among women and minorities. First-time buyers have accounted for about 20% of new gun sales nationwide in 2020.

Recently, however, gun sales have collapsed, both month to month and year over year. The pace of the decline accelerated in June. June gun sales last year totaled 3,054,726 nationwide. Last month, nationwide gun sales totaled 2,570,608. Compared to the first six months of 2021, there were 6.4 million fewer background checks for the purchase of a firearm, a 28.7% drop.

In Vermont, gun sales are falling, but at a slower pace the national decline. There were a total of 22,197 FBI firearm background checks in the state in the first half of 2022 compared to 27,678 in the first six months of 2021 — a 19.8% reduction and the 27th largest decline among states.

Reasons for the slowdown are not as clear as those that explained the surge reported last year. The New York Times reported in May 2021, “While gun sales have been climbing for decades — they often spike in election years and after high-profile crimes — Americans have been on an unusual, prolonged buying spree fueled by the coronavirus pandemic, the protests last summer and the fears they both stoked.”

Categories: Business, Gunrights

22 replies »

  1. Many people have purchased what they needed could be the reason for the slowdown……sales cannot perpetually be on the increase.

    • Not to mention inflation. Paying for necessities like food, gas, home heating, and electricity take priority over the high cost of guns and ammunition.

  2. Gun sales have fallen because President Biden broke the news to the semi-fascists American patriots that they would need more than a gun to defend their Constitutional rights they would need F-16s or else they wouldn’t stand a chance against his Government! They became depressed by the revelation and will not be purchasing any more firearms.

    • Explain the lack of “f-16s” the Afghans used against both the Soviets and Americans. Those dirt farmers and such did a great job of kicking ass year after year. Oh, the American Revolution …. people started with just muskets, hatchets and knives… We won. Explain that. Arms are not as hard to get and honestly your comment is laughable. And who is gonna do the fighting? Last I heard they are releasing soldiers for not getting the jab…. Thanks for the free training. Unless you mean the 87000 IRS agents they are hiring. Even then, People see the writing on the wall. Besides, you have apparently never gotten a legally purchased weapon. They ask about your “mental health” on the BGC. Crazy, Depressed people usually cannot buy guns.

      • I believe Richard has a gift for satire and that his comment was meant to be humorous and not taken literally. Keep it coming, Richard, that was a good one.
        If you can’t laugh at the current situation where our Country is headed by an old man with serious dementia, then the alternative is to cry.

    • Richard; they are probably looking into F-16’s or next best thing, and a landing strip in the NEK……

  3. Good guns ain’t cheap and money is tight. The recent SCOTUS decision regarding carry outside the home doesn’t really affect Vermonters, since we have enjoyed “Constitutional carry” ever since there was a Constitution, so that ruling didn’t slow sales down here. I would like to think of slow gun sales as a measure of confidence that increased gun restrictions are not forthcoming. Biden and some members of the Vermont Legislature may prove me wrong.

  4. Once you get the guns you need, it’s ammo, ammo, ammo. Practice, Practice, Practice.

    “The most powerful gun in the world does not make up for lack of accuracy”.
    Page one of U.S. Navy Gunnersmate Manual

  5. Judging from the comments above and from past discussions om gun rights, there is obviously a wide range of interpretations as to what our Founding Fathers intended when the Second Amendment was adopted. We don’t have to all agree to get along.

    I’m wondering if we could all agree on one point, however. FIRST TIME gun owners should have to pass an accredited gun safety course prior to purchase. Exceptions would be permitted for military veterans and others who have demonstrated proficiency.

    • NO pre-emptive test should be necessary to take advantage of a CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT. There are currently restrictions on age of purchase and past criminal and mental history. Sorry, but you will NOT get much agreement on your proposal from this forum.

    • I would expect that most people who have never handled a firearm then buy one would get some instruction on their own. Perhaps you could name a few restrictions on other constitutional rights. Shouting fire in a theater is not forbidden unless causalities result. The 3rd is amendment clearly written same as the 4th, 5th and so on. All these amendments do not tell us what we can do, they tell the government what they can’t do. Requiring a safety test would unconstitutional because it deals with the security of a free state as well as an individual right to self-preservation which is a natural right.

  6. Obama and Biden are great Gun Salesman. The threats of taking everything away from us are inspirations to say, Hell No.
    Vermonters that have Guns for Hunting, Sport Shooting or Self Defense in many cases have purchased whatever tool they need for the purpose.
    It reaches the point of purchasing something we have been wanting but don’t really need for many of us.
    Prices of Guns and the lack of available Ammo have slowed down many purchases.
    As the Ammo becomes more available once again, even at higher prices, many will choose to replace or stock up on Ammo first.
    Why do you need different types of Guns or more than one ? Here’s the answer even though none is necessary ;
    Why do you need more than one Fishing Pole, or a Sports Car instead of a family
    car ?
    Because I am an American. Despite what the people trying to destroy our Constitution and America are doing, I am free to make choices to protect and provide for my family. To make the most out of this life.

  7. Rich,

    Every Constitutional right comes with some limitations. Requiring basic competency with the use of a deadly weapon is no infringement on gun ownership. Every year, folks are killed accidently through carelessness and negligence, many in their own homes. I think anyone living in such a home would take comfort in knowing the NEW gun owner has received appropriate training.

    • If there are limitations on any of the 10 amendments in the Bill of Rights, most of them are probably unconstitutional. For instance, it’s not true that yelling fire in a crowded movie theater is prohibited under the 1st amendment. It is only prohibited because it may cause harm. It doesn’t mean you can’t say it. Because a law has not been challenged in court does not mean it is constitutional. Making requirements for rights by the government in itself is unconstitutional. Amendments tell the government what they can’t do, not what we can’t do.

  8. Guns…if you buy a hunting license in Vt, Hunter Safety is required, I did that 3x, went with and participated with each son. then gave up hunting as I am discouraged with F&W policy (deer season too long, starts now before deer are ready for winter, too many doe permits thus killing 3 deer with each doe kill..agree or disagree with me no matter, its how I feel about it, and how I deal with that..still hunt with my camera!!)
    and the other thing is
    I WANT our “Commander in Chief” to be given a cognition test………I think all voters deserve to know where he is at………and if he is even remotely capable of the job (ask me, I say no way……just watch the facial expressions, esp the eyes…turn off the sound to really “see”

  9. how do we fix fentanyl flowing into america causing gun violence in our own state by out of state villians?

  10. To pigfarmer56 and Carla: Your replies are what is called evasion and diversion in logic. Instead of replying to the simple gun safety course proposal for FIRST TIME gun buyers, you simply raise another problem needing attention.

    To natureaboundsnortherngirl: Bless you for accompanying your three sons through hunter safety. Is there a corresponding gun safety requirement for handguns? Judging from recent accidental shootings in VT, I think it’s time to do so.

    To Dano: You asked about restrictions on other Constitutional rights. (1) Freedom of speech does not allow slander. (2) Freedom of the press does not allow plagiarism. (3) The right to vote has age and residency restrictions. Do you need more?

    • Obviously, we have laws in a civil society, but you’re saying that the government can compel you to do something before you have that right, IE making you get training as opposed to abusing a right. Slander and plagiarism are crimes written in the criminal codes. No one can force you to slander anyone especially the government. A background check is only a restriction to criminals, but it’s not for people who have not committed crimes. “The security of a free state, the right of THE PROPLE to keep and bear arms, SHALL NOT be infringed”.

    • Constitutional rights.
      (1) Freedom of speech does not allow slander.
      Yes, it does.

      (2) Freedom of the press does not allow plagiarism.
      Yes, it does.

      (3) The right to vote has age and residency restrictions.
      Voting age is not specified in the Constitution.

      Are we allowed to yell ‘fire!” in a crowded theater when there actually is a fire? … or when we think there may be a fire?

      The Constitution says nothing about fires, slander, plagiarism, or the voting age. The Constitution, and especially the Bill of Rights, is mostly about ensuring due process when someone is accused of harming another. We are, after all, innocent until proven guilty… or, at least, that’s the way it’s supposed to be.

  11. Re: “Reasons for the slowdown are not as clear as those that explained the surge reported last year.”

    It’s the market. That there was a ‘surge’, in gun sales last year indicates that the market may now be saturated. Ammunition sales, on the other hand, have been consistently increasing, and are projected to continue to do so.