May 30, 2021 11:13 AM | With information from EFE
15 minutes. The sale of arms in the United States (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 are new owners. This is reflected in preliminary data from a study reviewed this Sunday by The New York Times.
The figures, compiled by Northeastern University and a Harvard research center, indicate that there are more and more weapons in circulation, but also more and more armed people.
The study, which has not yet been published, also shows that half of those New gun owners are women, one-fifth African-American and one-fifth Hispanic. This points to a diversification of the most common profile of the arms buyer, which is the white man.
Data on arms sales in the US come from a survey of 19,000 people carried out in April. They suggest that around 6.5% of the US population – some 17 million people – acquired guns in 2020, up from 5.3% in 2019.
On the whole, It is estimated that 39% of the country’s households have at least one weapon, up from 32% in 2016.
Arms sales soared in the US last year coinciding with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, causing the number of federal background checks in March of that year – a rough indication of the number of gun sales. – reached one million in a week, for the first time since data collection began in 1998.
That record was broken again this spring. In a week, the 1.2 million verifications were exceeded, according to FBI data.
Of the 10 weeks with the most background checks, 6 have occurred so far in 2021 and another 3 took place in 2020.
Arms sales have been on the rise for years in the US, usually with steep increases in election years or after notorious crimes. However, the latest data points to an unprecedented pace today.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, shootings have increased dramatically in many cities across the country, after years of reductions.
Last month, President Joe Biden urged the Republican opposition to join with Democrats in restricting access to guns.
The US leader argued that the weapons problem, which he defined as a “daily bloodshed,” should not be a partisan issue. He advocated banning assault rifles and high-capacity magazines, weapons and devices common in mass shootings.