Why Has Gun Ownership Risen Over the Past Year?

We have all seen the memes about 2020 being the worst year ever. While this may or may not be true, it was certainly an interesting year for gun ownership. A huge surge in gun purchasing due to all the uncertainty was great for business, and certainly great for supporting our 2A rights, it led to long waits, scarce ammo and little gun inventory

At the shop, we have had more first-time buyers than ever before. While I hold my own personal frustrations towards the state of the market & availability of firearms, I also realize that this is one of the best things to happen to the firearms community at large. The reason being that nearly 5 million new people became gun owners in 2020, and those numbers continue to surge well into 2021.

Here at TMGN, our mission is to change the perceptions of guns and gun ownership, one experience at a time. We accomplish this with incredible customer service and truly passionate staff that genuinely care about every single person they help.

As TMGN owner, my friends often look to me with their firearms-related questions as they’re not as immersed in the world of guns as I am. The question on their minds recently has been, “Why has gun ownership risen over the past year?” I have given it some thought and can break the answer down into four points.

The COVID-19 Pandemic

We all know what COVID did to us in 2020. The image of people fighting over toilet paper on the news is typically something you would only see at the beginning of a post-apocalyptic movie. But no, it was real life, and for some, it was a wake-up call to the idea that they were less safe and secure than they had previously thought.

This, of course, led to massive amounts of gun & ammo buying. We were busier than ever in the shop, and people were buying anything they could get their hands on. For those who already owned firearms, we experienced a massive surge in training, both one-on-one instruction, and classes.

I was aware of COVID in January of 2020 as I left SHOT show that year in Vegas. I had found out about it from watching independent commentators on YouTube. I was not as caught off guard when the lockdowns were announced, and luckily, I had about a month to prepare for the worst. It never ended up getting as bad as I expected it to, but it easily could have.

When the fear of society collapsing comes into the general populace’s mind, people consider the idea that we all may one day be responsible for our own personal security.

Civil Unrest

Besides COVID, one of the next significant events of 2020 was the massive civil unrest that came from protests springing up all over the country for the Black Lives Matter movement. The images of some of the protests getting out of hand were played on repeat by the corporate media.

On social media, we saw protesters clashing with counter-protesters, sometimes turing deadly. This led to many people coming to buy firearms on both sides of this ideological divide. Regardless of your personal political beliefs, I think we can agree that everyone has the right to be armed.

Political Movement to “Defund the Police”

One of the big talking points during the summer of 2020 was the idea of “Defunding the Police.” This was an idea that started to gain traction in Minneapolis, Minnesota, after George Floyd’s death. The reaction from leftist organizations was overwhelming. Many activists took to the streets to push this new idea of defunding the police and shifting their funding to social workers or other things of that nature.

Of course, the first thought of many was: “When something bad happens, and there’s no police, who do I call?” The answer from politicians and activist leaders was confusing at best. So, Americans did what any logical person would do; they took their self-defense into their own hands and decided to buy firearms.

New Presidency & Presidential Appointees

The election of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States was undoubtedly controversial. From the election results being contested to the lawsuits state by state to all the confusion nationwide about the mail-in ballots and each aspect’s legality. Regardless of your personal politics, it’s easy to admit that the 2020 election was a mess. It’s not surprising that because of the political uncertainty that occurred this election cycle that Americans have again started to consider their personal protection to be a priority.

It is not just the optics of the Federal Government looking disorganized and partisan. It’s well known that Biden himself is staunchly anti-gun. With support from anti-gun groups, it’s almost guaranteed that there is a legal battle coming for your right to own a firearm.
That’s not all. At the time of writing this article, the heads of Federal agencies are being nominated by Biden and confirmed by the Senate. Gun owners should be informed of Biden’s choices, especially concerning the ATF and the DOJ. Whoever is appointed to those positions will almost certainly affect gun owners’ lives these next four years.

These political changes and appointments have driven people to their local gun shop to pick up a firearm or two. Many people are worried about incoming gun control from the Biden admin. They are trying to buy before legislation becomes law.


In my humble opinion, those are the biggest reasons that gun ownership has increased in 2020 and continues to grow well into 2021. If the memes are any indication, 2021 will probably have some surprises in store for us.