Politics & Policy

Gun Sales Jump 15.5 Percent in August as Dems Renew Push for Regulations

A man holds a Ruger revolver at the National Rifle Association annual meeting in Indianapolis, Ind., April 27, 2019. (Lucas Jackson/Reuters)

Background checks for gun sales, concealed-carry permits, and security spiked in August as congressional Democrats renewed their push for expanded gun control in the wake of several mass shootings.

The National Instant Criminal Background Check System recorded a 15.5 percent uptick in background checks last month, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

The jump in gun sales appears to have been spurred by a desire to secure self-protection amid an epidemic of mass shootings in the U.S., before Congress potentially approves stricter gun-control measures such as an assault-weapons ban, universal background checks, or limits on ammunition.

The NSSF also pointed out that some states saw a particularly steep jump in background checks last month, with Alabama’s NSSF-adjusted number jumping over 100 percent from August of last year, and Minnesota’s number increasing 68.9 percent.

Gun sales also spiked in August of last year, just before the midterm congressional elections, and even more starkly in August 2016, before the last presidential election.

House speaker Nancy Pelosi warned Monday that there will be “hell to pay” if the Republican-controlled Senate fails to pass a universal-background-check bill, which would require checks for private gun sales, including purchases made over the Internet and at gun shows. The bill has already passed the House.

“We are not taking no for an answer. We are not going away,” she said.

“It is totally up to them, and it is on their shoulders. They can’t escape that responsibility,” Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer added.

Renewed enthusiasm for gun-control measures comes after two back-to-back shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio killed 32 and left the nation shaken last month.

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