U.S. gun sales are on the rise according to the latest federal data.
For October 2023, there were roughly 1.33 million firearm sales, an 8.3 percent increase over October 2022, according to figures released by the FBI National Instant Background Check System (NICS), which were analyzed by Ammoland in a Nov. 13 report.
October was the third-highest October on record for gun sales.
There are more background checks done than there are gun sales. Last month saw roughly 2.26 million background checks, the sixth-highest number of checks done in October since the NICS system began in 1998.
As Ammoland noted, the U.S. now “has about 500 million privately owned firearms, or a privately owned firearms stock of half a billion.”
The rise in gun sales followed the deadly attack carried out against Israel on Oct. 7 and a mass shooting in Maine. The surge also coincides with a period where numerous officials warned that the U.S. homeland may soon face its own terrorist attack at some point during 2024.
“The horrific attacks on Israel followed by the escalating hate speech toward Jewish Americans, coupled with the tragic murders in Maine, are reminders that every American has the right to legally purchase a firearm to provide for their own defense. October showed that Americans did this 1.3 million times, extending the million-plus background checks each month to 51 consecutive months,” Mark Oliva, spokesman for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, told the Washington Examiner.
Other industry experts predict the surge in gun sales to continue at least throughout the rest of the year.
“There has never been a more clear-cut case of the need for personal protection than the Oct. 7 attack, and Americans have reacted quickly. There was a significant sales bubble that formed just after videos of the attack made the rounds, and that bubble continues to grow,” Justin Anderson, the marketing director for Hyatt Guns of Charlotte, North Carolina, told the Examiner.
“We are seeing a spike in sales of concealed carry handguns, as well as tactical shotguns, and AR-15s; very similar to what happened during COVID, but on a smaller scale. We expect this bubble to continue to grow, along with our regular bump in sales going into the holidays,” he added.