Number of new gun owners since 2020 election surged to equal population of Florida: report

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The number of new gun owners in America exercising their Second Amendment rights has surged — equaling the population of Florida since 2020.

According to a report by the National Sports Shooting Foundation (NSSF), the number of people who became first-time gun owners since 2020 has reportedly grown to over 22.3 million people, or the population of Florida.

In a statement to Fox News Digital, Mark Oliva, the managing director of public affairs for the NSSF, attributed the surge of new owners to COVID-era lockdowns, soft-on-crime prosecutors who forced residents across the fifty-states to realize that they could not always rely on law enforcement and the Biden administration’s “overbearing regulations.”

“Over the last several years, there have been a significant increase of Americans who have chosen to exercise their Second Amendment rights to keep and bear arms,” Oliva said. “That’s been for several reasons, including concerns for personal safety, rising crime, the refusal of some prosecutors to not lock up criminals and the attacks by the Biden administration to diminish rights through overbearing regulations.”

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Midway through 2020, first-time gun owners accounted for approximately 40% of buyers, according to the NSSF, citing retailers. The “normal” is usually somewhere around 20- to 24%, they said.

In 2020, the NSSF said, there were approximately 8.4 million new first-time gun owners.

In 2021, the initial surge of COVID-era buyers subsided, with the number totaling about 5.4 million first-time gun buyers. The percentage dropped to around 30% of all buyers. 

human silhouettes at gun range

In 2022, it totaled approximately 4.2 million, and 2023 actually rose just a bit to 4.3 million, according to industry data. 

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The 2024 figures aren’t finalized yet, but so far there have been just north of 6 million, the NSSF said, citing the total FBI National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) verifications processed for the sale of a firearm.

Guns on display

Oliva highlighted the impact that the new gun owners could have on the upcoming elections.

“These are gun owners who, prior to buying a gun, didn’t consider what this right meant to their lives and personal freedom,” he said. “That will be a consideration in this election. This could be a factor in the upcoming election as people take into account the government’s willingness to infringe upon their rights guaranteed by the Constitution.”

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