Gun sales reached a five-year high in Connecticut in 2021, the year that the FBI saw the second-highest number of recorded background checks.
According to Mark Oliva, director of public affairs for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, there were 21 million background checks for gun sales in 2020 and 18.5 million in 2021, nationwide. Those figures are the top two highest on record.
“Background checks skyrocketed in March 2020, when there were 2.3 million background checks recorded,” Oliva told The Center Square. “That was the most ever recorded in a single month. That, of course, was the beginning of the pandemic lockdowns. People became concerned for their safety when police were warning they would not be able to respond to all emergency calls because they were seeing COVID infections rise.”
The U.S. background check system prevented over 300,000 gun sales in 2020, a record high, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.
Background checks blocked almost double the number of sales in 2020 compared to the year before, with 42% of rejections due to felony convictions, according to FBI data obtained by the AP. The data also shows that the rate of barred would-be gun owners increased from 0.6% to 0.8% over the past two years.
The rate increase could be because a number of people buying guns for the first time did not realize they were unable to purchase a gun, Adam Winkler, a UCLA Law professor specializing in gun policy, told the AP. “Some may have a felony conviction on their record and not think about it,” he said.
Remington Arms Co. filed for bankruptcy amid nationwide unrest and surging gun sales.
The firearm company filed for chapter 11 protection, or reorganization bankruptcy, for the second time since 2018, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday. Remington has been in business for over 200 years, according to its webpage.