Gun sales skyrocketed in the United States during the coronavirus pandemic last year. As of the end of December, 39.3 million firearm background checks had been completed since the start of the year, more than in any other full year since state by state tracking began in 1998. Fewer than 28 million background checks were performed in all of 2019.
Across the nation, 45 states reported more background checks were done for gun purchases in 2020 than in any other year on record. Background checks rose in 2020 compared to 2019 in every state except for Kentucky, which in 2019 had 4.2 million firearm background checks — by far the most at nearly 1 check per resident.
Because of varying state laws, loopholes in gun sales online and at gun shows, as well as untraced illegal weapon purchases, total gun sales or the total number of guns owned in the United States is not known. However, it is possible to approximate the numbers of gun purchases using background checks tracked by The National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). While widely considered the best proxy, because of varying state laws and purchase scenarios, background checks do not represent the true number of firearms sold.
There were 958,391 firearm background checks reported in Minnesota in 2020. Measured on a per capita basis, there were 16,993.9 background checks for every 100,000 Minnesota residents, the 6th most nationwide. For comparison, there were 682,356 firearm background checks reported in Minnesota in 2019, or 12,099.3 firearm background checks for every 100,000 Minnesota residents. The per capita measure was the 6th most nationwide.
While gun sales did not increase in every state last year, the surge in U.S. gun purchases in 2020 is likely tied to impacts associated with the coronavirus pandemic. As of Jan 5, approximately 425,261 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in New York. The 7,540.6 COVID-19 cases for every 100,000 people in the state is the 21st most in the nation. As of Jan 5, a total of 5,461 COVID-19 deaths have been reported in Minnesota.
There are 5,639,632 people residing in Minnesota.
To determine how many guns are purchased in every state, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed firearm registrations in every state between Jan. 1 and Dec. 30, 2020 from The National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).
We compiled data from state and local health departments and calculated cumulative and per 100,000 COVID-19 cases for every state as of January 5.
|State||2020 Firearms Backgrounds Checks||2020 Firearms Background Checks per 100,000||Rank||Cumulative COVID-19 Casesas of 1/5||Cumulative COVID-19 Casesper 100k||Rank||Population|
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