In March, background checks to purchase guns soared to a record-breaking height. This was reportedly brought on by President Joe Biden’s threats to push for an increase in federal gun regulations, and also by the $1400 COVID-19 stimulus checks.
On Thursday, the U.S. News and World Report stated that the FBI had reported a record-breaking number of background checks to get guns in March. The bureau “conducted nearly 4.7 million background checks, breaking the record high that was just set in January, another month that was marked with violence and turmoil.”
“March’s background checks represent a 36% increase from February, which saw about 3.44 million checks. Additionally, nearly 1 million more background checks took place last month than in March 2020,” The U.S. News and World Report added.
While it is not certain that every background check leads to a successful gun purchase — every single sale is governed by various state laws and quite a few of the buyers may not even pass the FBI investigation– increases in the number of background checks does appear to directly lead to an increase in the total number of gun sales, according to the Washington Examiner, which cited a few gun retailer groups.
“After the FBI release, for example, Small Arms Analytics & Forecasting reported that sales are set to break the yearly record of 22.8 million in 2021. ‘For the first quarter of 2021 as a whole, about 5.9 million firearms were sold as opposed to 5.2 million in the first quarter of 2020. If this rate of sales were to be sustained throughout 2021, last year’s record sales of 22.8 million would be broken,” stated one of such groups to the Washington Examiner.
This large upswing in the number of background checks also seems to correspond with the threats from the Biden administration of increased gun regulation, and in this past March, the number of gun-related background checks spiked after two reported mass shootings. Both of which were followed by an increase in talks about heavier gun control from the White House.
“Of the top 10 days for most background checks, six were in March 2021, according to FBI data, including the top three days,” reported US News. “Following deadly mass shootings in Atlanta and Boulder, Colorado, gun sales soared and five of the top days occurred following either one or both shootings.”
“In addition to mass shootings, gun-control legislation can also be a driver of gun sales and House Democrats on March 11 passed a pair of gun-control bills that would expand background check requirements on all gun sales and transfers,” noted US News.
The Biden administration may have inadvertently caused the increase in gun sales by passing a coronavirus relief bill that issued a $1400 stimulus check to most American taxpayers, noted the Washington Examiner.
“There are obvious factors at play here: Biden’s gun rhetoric being No. 1, as well as two mass shootings that were heavily covered in the media. However, we also saw a lot of transactions of around $1,400 starting on March 17, so it appears many people are using their stimulus money to buy guns,” one of the gun retailers told the examiner.
As of yet, the Biden administration has not committed to stricter regulations on “assault” weapons or high-capacity magazines, noting in previous meetings with the media that those kinds of restrictions must be pushed through Congress.