The sale of weapons in USA, which skyrocketed last year as a result of the start of the coronavirus pandemic, continues to grow, with a fifth of purchases made by people who start as owners, according to preliminary data from a study published this Sunday by The New York Times.
The figures, compiled by the Northeastern University and a Harvard research center, point out that there are more and more weapons in circulation, but also more and more armed people.
The study, which has not yet been published, further shows that half of those new gun owners are women, a fifth African American and another fifth Hispanic, which points to a diversification of the most common profile of the gun buyer, which is the white man.
The data comes from a survey of 19,000 people carried out in April and indicates that around 6.5% of the US population – some 17 million people – acquired weapons last year, up from 5.3% of 2019.
On the whole, it is estimated that 39% of the country’s households have at least one weapon, up from 32% in 2016.
Sales soared last year coinciding with the start of the pandemic of covid-19, bringing the number of federal background checks – a rough indication of the number of gun sales – in March 2020 to one million in a week for the first time since data began to be collected in 1998.
That record was broken again this spring, with a week in which 1.2 million verifications were exceeded, according to FBI data.
Of the ten weeks with the most background checks, six have occurred so far in 2021 and another three took place in 2020.
Gun sales have been on the rise in America for years, usually with sharp increases in election years or after notorious crimes, but the latest data points to an unprecedented pace today.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, in addition, shootings have increased significantly in many cities in the country, after years of reductions.
Last month, the American president, Joe Biden, urged the Republican opposition to join with Democrats in restricting access to guns.
The American leader argued that the weapons problem, which he defined as a “Daily bloodshed”, should not be a partisan issue and advocated banning assault rifles and high-capacity magazines, weapons and devices common in mass shootings.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.