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Gun sales, background checks surge in Mississippi

Mississippians, like all Americans, are buying more guns now than ever before. There was a sharp increase at the beginning of the pandemic and if trends are any indication, those numbers will only go up with a new Democratic administration. 

According to NICS data, more than 32 million background checks have been conducted this year. The year prior, there were about 28 million background checks — which was a record at the time. But it would only last a year. 

In Mississippi, there were 27,815 checks in October. A year ago, that number stood at 19,167. Going back to the beginning of the pandemic in March, there were 33,000 background checks completed in Mississippi compared to about 23,000 in 2019. 

And a large chunk of this is first-time buyers. 

“Retailers reported an increased number of first-time gun buyers, estimating that 40 percent of their sales were to this group,” the National Shooting Sports Foundation announced in early June. “This is an increase of 67 percent over the annual average of 24-percent first-time gun buyers that retailers have reported in the past.”

A year ago, Michael Bloomberg, one of the most infamous (and wealthiest) gun control advocates in the country, said that members of a church should not carry guns and defend other members as happened last year. Rather, we should wait for law enforcement. 

That comment didn’t age well. 

That is why we saw uncommon spikes this summer in the midst of riots and looting across the country.

In June there were 3.9 million background checks nationwide. That’s an increase from 2.3 million the year prior. If law enforcement is unable — or in some cases unwilling — to protect your property, residents are doing it. As they should. 

Regardless of who the president is or if a city council wants to ban gun shows, Americans will continue to own guns and purchase new guns when they feel it is necessary.

Brett Kittredge is the Director of Marketing and Communications with Mississippi Center for Public Policy.