Around 21 million Americans have bought guns this year, a drastic 73% increase over 2019, according to a new report.
November 2020 was the eleventh straight month of record background checks for firearm sales in the U.S., with more than 3,600,000 checks performed through the National Instant Criminal Background System (NICS).
Cyber Monday in particular broke record sales, with online purchases up 65% over last year.
The trend is likely part of fallout from the pandemic, social unrest, and the presidential election.
"It really bothers me when I watched things on the news, when you talk about the riots, and the looting, and the violence that's happening," said mother Trish Beaudet from Florida, who recently bought her first handgun. "Pulling a gun is the last thing I ever want to do, but I want to know that if I need to protect myself, my family, my, you know, my children, that I can do that."
Biden has said he would crack down on gun manufacturers immediately after taking office – calling them "the enemy" during his campaign – and plans to push Congress to end online sales, ban assault-style weapons and "high-capacity" magazines, and limit sales.
"I don't know what these laws will be passed, but that's got people [thinking] to 'buy my gun now or I'm not going to be able to get it again,'" said retired NYPD chief Robert Boyce.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) said the record number of sales showed the strong level of support for the Second Amendment.
"Americans continue to purchase firearms at record pace for a variety of reasons, including concerns for personal safety, onerous gun control plans by a Biden-Harris administration and for lawful purposes including recreational shooting, hunting, and self-defense," said Mark Oliva, NSSF's Director of Public Affairs. "The fact that the pace of these sales hasn't slowed since March shows Americans value their Second Amendment freedoms and will exercise the right to keep and bear arms at their choosing."