By Todd Woodard
Over the past three years, historic numbers of Americans legally purchased a firearm. According to Larry Keane, senior vice president and general counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, “Between 2020-2021, nearly 40 million firearms were purchased by Americans at retail from all corners of the country, from all different backgrounds.
Industry retailer survey data revealed roughly 33 percent of purchases were women, nearly two in five were first-time gun buyers in 2020, 30 percent were first-timers in 2021 and historic numbers of African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Asian Americans legally purchased firearms too, for recreational target shooting, hunting, and self-defense. In 2022, without December numbers, roughly 14,679,000 more industry-adjusted NICS checks were run for a gun purchase, marking 39 months in a row with more than 1 million or more NICS checks for gun purchases.” Pretty remarkable when you think about it.
If you’re not reading The Reload, you should be. Like Gun Tests, The Reload is an independent, subscriber-supported publication. It was founded by award-winning journalist Stephen Gutowski and is dedicated to accurately reporting the details and nuances of big gun stories. The Reload aims to find fair and discerning reporting on firearms and how they intersect with politics. Much of the coverage is free, but there are paid memberships if you want to dive that deep. There’s no deal between Gun Tests and The Reload, just my admiration and interest in what Gutowski does.
In that vein, The Reload reported in late December that the Centers For Disease Control (CDC) deleted a reference to a study it commissioned after a group of gun controllers complained it made passing new restrictions more difficult. According to The Reload report, the gun banners “focused their complaints on the CDC’s description of its review of studies that estimated defensive gun uses (DGU) happen between 60,000 and 2.5 million times per year in the United States — attacking criminologist Gary Kleck’s work establishing the top end of the range.
“[T]hat 2.5 million number needs to be killed, buried, dug up, killed again and buried again,” Mark Bryant wrote to CDC officials after their meeting. “It is highly misleading, is used out of context and I honestly believe it has zero value — even as an outlier point in honest DGU discussions,” Gutowski explained that Bryant runs the Gun Violence Archive, and Bryant has argued that Kleck’s estimate has been damaging to the political prospects of passing new gun restrictions and should be eliminated from the CDC’s website.
The Reload reported that the CDC did indeed take down Kleck’s defensive gun-use stats. To read the full article and build up a good head of steam, log on to TheReload.com.
This article was published in GunTests and is reproduced with permission.