Black Friday Saw Only an 8% Decline From 2019

Gerbrand Defense, Waterford MI

NICS posted 186,645 background checks for the year’s traditionally biggest retail sales day. However as we know.. 2020 just hits different.

First, we are in a legendarily record setting year for firearm sales. We are on the 8th month of “two weeks to flatten the curve”, a more steaming pile of epidemiological crap may never have been uttered. But that is neither here nor their, what it lead to was a curbed law enforcement response nation wide.

That curbed response, the realization that officers would not risk infections (by department, city, county, or state mandate in many cases) suddenly brought home the point that officers and many readers here already knew.

You’re on your own.

You always have been on your own but now it was even more so as LE agencies acknowledged that certain calls were not going to get responses and that staffing problems from infections and quarantines were going to up response times.

This started the early run on guns. People quietly put 2 and 2 together and got wise to the fact that a bunch of people not working because they cannot work remotely, plus stress and panic from the virus, plus law enforcement admitting they cannot cover like normal, equaled an environment where it was more likely than normal that a home invasion or robbery might occur.

More financially strained people and lower law enforcement presence with delayed response times. Simple math.

Then the riots happened. An already stressed nation was at a tipping point and then George Floyd died with an officer kneeling on his neck. Ahmaud Arbery was chased down in a truck and killed by a former prosecutor’s office official and his son. Breonna Taylor was killed in a raid we were told was no-knock and at the wrong address (that turns out not to have been the case, right address and they did knock, Taylor was on the warrant) but that is not what the nation heard. The nation was stressed to burst and that caused a burst.

Police “not doing their jobs” due to the virus and police misconduct against minorities. Regardless of the overall validity, true instances versus false instances and there are certainly a pile of both, the melting pot boiled over and cities burned. Individuals and groups took advantage, over and over again, of the legitimate and righteous anger toward public abuse of trust and authority and looted and torched. Many were injured, a few were killed, and the nation watched as no ‘righteous force’ protected anyone from becoming a victim of anyone else.

The 2020 panic buy was on in full by summer. The illusion of societal safety, which was always a relative term, compared to individual safety was gone. Your individual safety was on the individual, so people bought guns and got CCW licenses… although that second one was halted in many spots, quite in violation of people’s rights, because no provision to process licenses remotely was in place.

4th Highest NICS Day on Record

2019 was a banner year in many ways. People were working, politicians were grumpy at each other, and life overall was in forward flowing upward trend. 2020 has seen drastic changes in how Americans, especially in the service industry, make a living. By Government mandate to curb infection rates these industries were barred from making money. They could not engage in trade. Government also only cut one single check and a patchwork of “business” solutions that did nothing to replace raw incomes to live and make payroll.

That has been week after week, month after month, panic and rapid adaptation. People through it all have been arming up in record breaking month after record breaking month. Ammunition prices are astronomical and firearm prices are up, the world of 2019 where you could find what you wanted in the industry on demand had vanished.

Ammunition is a year backordered. Production lots for guns are largely already sold into 2021.

And yet in this barren shelfed market, on the year where remote shopping is the way to go, and where shipping is 3-10 days slower than normal, it was the 4th highest day on record for NICS transactions. I wonder what the rest of the weekend looked like. This whole week too as orders come in and transfers complete.

Guns are in demand like never before seen, no election, no proposed law, nothing generated the sales like a nasty virus and its fallout.

Keith Finch
Keith is the former Editor-in-Chief of GAT Marketing Agency, Inc. He got told there was a mountain of other things that needed doing, so he does those now and writes here when he can. A USMC Infantry Veteran and Small Arms and Artillery Technician, Keith covers the evolving training and technology from across the shooting industry. Teaching since 2009, he covers local concealed carry courses, intermediate and advanced rifle courses, handgun, red dot handgun, bullpups, AKs, and home defense courses for civilians, military client requests, and law enforcement client requests.