The vice president of marketing for gun store Brownells, Ryan Repp, told “Varney &Co.” on Monday that based on their sales, 40% of new gun owners are women and African Americans are the “largest growing group” with an increase of 58% from the year before.
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Repp stressed that based of his data, those who are buying guns this year “don’t fit the caricature of what many would consider to be the average gun owner.”
Repp compared his sales to data from NSSF, the trade association for the firearm industry, tracks the background checks associated with the sale of a gun based on the FBI’s National Instant Background Check System (NICS), which estimated about 8 million Americans became first-time gun owners in 2020, according to SGB Media.
“Based on our sales, if we compare that to NSFF data, we’re seeing a lot more guns going to urban areas,” Repp noted.
“If you take the NSFF data and you pair it to what we have for sales data, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to hypothesize that a significant number of these people are from Democratic or other political ideologies,” he added.
“And we’re talking about a Constitution right here at the day and it’s something that gets politicized often, but it’s not just politics, this is the Constitution we’re talking about.”
First-time buyers have been contributing to record sales for the U.S. gun industry this year driven by several reasons including the coronavirus pandemic and social unrest over the death of African Americans in police custody, including George Floyd, Reuters reported.
Industry experts and academics who study gun ownership reportedly attribute the surge in gun sales largely to the industry’s core base of white, male and politically conservative customers who often already owned one or several guns. However, the market has been widening this year to include a rush of first-time buyers, which Repp validated includes many women and minorities.
Host Stuart Varney asked Repp if he has raised prices given the increased demand for guns.
“We’re trying our best not to raise prices, [but] of course with scarcity and the manufacturers trying to find raw material [it] requires us to raise prices just a little bit, but we’re certainly trying to keep them down as much as we can,” he responded.
Repp also noted on Monday that there is a nationwide shortage of ammunition with some brands announcing “incredible backorders.”
“The problem I think really is there’s an incredible demand, people are just buying up everything they see, which you have to think about the factories, particularly in 2020, who were not necessarily expecting to see this giant increase,” Repp explained. “And so they’ve got raw materials that they’ve got to go out to find that they did not necessarily plan for so it’s sort of the perfect storm for ammunition manufacturing.”