Minnesota sees boom in gun sales as new regulations loom

Gun owners are worried by new gun control proposals, like an effort to create a publicly available registry of every gun in the country.

Stock photo/Unsplash

The FBI processed 55% more firearm background checks from Minnesota in January 2021 compared to the same month last year.

In the first month of 2020, the Federal Bureau of Investigation processed 56,561 background checks for gun sales through its National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) in Minnesota. In January 2021, that number jumped to 87,538 amid a record-breaking increase in gun-buying around the country.

The FBI says it processed a record-breaking 4.3 million background checks for firearms sales last month nationwide. However, this number is not reflective of the overall number of guns sold in January, which the National Shooting Sports Federation reports to be about 2 million, per CNN.

This discrepancy between the number of background checks and actual gun sales is to be expected. The FBI even notes that “one-to-one correlation cannot be made between a firearm background check and a firearm sale” when reporting NICS data.

Yet even with this discrepancy, it is apparent that gun owners are more interested than ever in purchasing firearms and ammo.

This has been made manifest in ammo shortages unlike any the industry has ever faced.

“Nearly any caliber that’ll go bang in whatever quantity [that] is up for grabs is snapped up almost immediately,” reports American Rifleman. “Consumer frustration is rampant, and there’s a real concern about personal- and home-defense shooters not being able to get ammo they need to be prepared,” the publication continues.

Many repeat and first time gun buyers are also frustrated with skyrocketing gun prices paired with dwindling availability. Most high-quality manufacturers report a lengthy backorder on AR-15 style rifles and what ARs can be found are drastically marked up in price.

At time of publication Midway USA, a major firearms retailer, had this Colt LE6920 listed on their site for $3,409. Under normal market conditions, this rifle would retail for under $1,000. (Image source: Screenshot/Midway USA)

The rush to purchase guns is apparently driven by Americans feeling unsafe after a long summer of left-wing political violence and the looming threat of sweeping gun control imposed by the Biden Administration.

One such piece of gun control is a proposed bill, HR 127, that seeks to create a publicly available national registry of all firearms as well as impose an annual “insurance fee” tax of $800 on gun owners.

HR 127 is “insanity on steroids,” according to the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, and stands out in recent memory as one of the most controversial gun control measures to be taken seriously. Opponents of the bill say that creation of a public registry could not only enable future gun confiscation efforts, but it may empower citizens to access information about each other’s firearms for nefarious purposes.

Also on the docket are several other measures to limit magazine size, reduce the accessibility and legality of ammunition, ban firearms based on what accessories they may be equipped with and limit citizens’ ability to bear arms outside the home.