Approximately 20 million firearms were purchased in the U.S. in 2021, a figure that is actually down from 2020 figures but still the second-highest figure on record, Forbes reported.
Last year also saw a record number of first-time firearm owners, a whopping 5.4 million, in the U.S. which accounted for one-third of the purchases.
"We're about a $63 billion industry," says Mark Oliva of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the firearm industry trade association. "That is manufacturers, distributors, retailers, ranges, and some suppliers as well. And we support over 330,000 jobs."
To many gun-hating Democrats, a firearm is like sunlight to Dracula but millions of those legally-purchased firearms were purchased by minorities and women last year, The Washington Times reported, citing NSSF figures.
Black gun ownership has jumped 58% since 2020, the Times said.
A spokesman for the 761st Gun Club, a Chicago-area gun club, told the Times minorities are realizing the Second Amendment gives them the constitutional right to protect themselves and their families. The patriotic gun club is named after the all-black tank battalion that fought in World War II.
“The police department and government isn’t going to save the Black community,” spokesman Kourtney Redmond said, “and a lot of black people are realizing the first life of defense is you.”
Chicago, which is no stranger to dangerous neighborhoods and violent crime, witnessed its worst homicide rate in 30 years, which was the highest in the country, when 2021 came to an end, NBC News reported last December.
Across the U.S., 12 major cities hit all-time crime rates last year, the same story said.
As 2021 was ending, gun sale records also showed women made up approximately half of firearms purchases.
"When we're talking about the personal impact of someone buying a firearm,” Oliva tells AFN, “it really is an investment of money to do that, to take ownership of your Second Amendment rights. It's not an inexpensive endeavor to purchase a firearm."
An average handgun will cost between $300 and $600. The popular AR-15 rifles start at around $600 for an entry-level rifle.
After putting down that money, Oliva says some gun buyers must go through more mandatory “hoops” in their state or city to legally own a gun. That also costs money from their own pocket.
“Those become other barriers for a lot of buyers,” he says, “but what we're seeing is that people in those states, that have those requirements, are going through those [hoops]. And they are spending the money to make sure that they can exercise their Second Amendment rights."