April 6th, 2009
02:34 PM ET

Firearms sales continue to climb in March

Program Note: Tune in tonight for a special report by Joe Johns and Erica Hill on gun violence in America on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.

National Shooting Sports Foundation

Firearm sales continued to surge across the country for the fifth straight month, extending a trend that began after the November elections. The increase also follows recent comments by several high-profile members of the Obama administration about re-imposing permanently and expanding the ban on modern sporting rifles.

Data from the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) show background checks on the sale of firearms jumped 29.2 percent in March when compared to March 2008 and were up 27.1 percent for the first quarter of 2009 over the same quarter last year.


soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. jack

    I think the reason more guns are being sold is because of the economic situation and the honest citizens are scared. Think about it, job loss can make some people do some pretty desperate and stupid things. I have already heard stories about good citizens robbing banks and other things to feed their families. And yes Ken the honest people need handguns. Think about this, "when seconds count the police are minutes away". Dont be so crazy to think that if we ban guns that the criminals will give theirs up too. It will NEVER happen!! When the honest citizen loses the ability to protect themselves then we will have complete chaos! When they completely take away guns from ALL the criminals then I will gladly give up mine.

    April 7, 2009 at 9:43 am |
  2. abc ~ anything but california hugh

    Any law-biding citizen should be allowed to own a handgun and conceal it on their person in their own home. True automatic assault weapons is a different matter. Far too many criminals and nutcases weapon of choice is an assault rifle–for all the wrong reasons. Many expert riflemen compete in matches using assault weapons for sport, but all things considered, hunters and the general public do not need an assault weapon to protect themselves or their loved ones. Still, after using all the safeguards to keep them out of the hands of children, the handgun is a legitimate weapon for protection in the home by responsible citizens.

    The right to bear arms should never be taken away from law-biding Americans. If these rights were taken away, more innocent people would die by murdering thieves and gang members breaking into people's homes. People die in tragic accidents in an untold number of ways, it's only when it happens with a gun does the public cry for them to be banned. Should we outlaw cars because people die in automobile accidents?

    April 7, 2009 at 9:07 am |
  3. Neo

    As for gun rights, there is and will be no argument regarding this because under legal terms there is too much precedence that guns cause accidental death or are used for murder and NOT self-defense. IF the majority of people who used guns used them for self defense then perhaps they could use that argument. The govt gave the citizen/hunter the chance to act responsibly with their weapon, the majority don't and now it's too dangerous to have loose gun control policies. The GOVT HAS to intervene for QOL purposes.

    April 7, 2009 at 7:59 am |

    I am fortunate enough due to the fact that I am an online student to not have to worry about it. However, I have a few guns a fully beleive in y rights to protect myself at all costs.I beleive that I am already restricted enough on where I can or can't carry my handgun.If i were a student There wouldn't be any rule that would keep me unarmed. say i was in the class when these shootings had happened. i would have put 2 in his chest and 1 in his head and problem is solved and he students are safe...Now tell me why that is wrong., also take into concideration florida is one of the few states that if you feel threatened in the slightest bit you have "Lethal Law" to protect Your Family, Your Property and Yourself...anyone care to comment

    April 7, 2009 at 7:38 am |
  5. J.V.Hodgson

    The founding fathers were great.
    200 Years later the fact is they got this wrong, not deliberately of course, but because of technology ( guns) and the evolution of policing and common sense law order relevant to the 21st century.
    Has it never occurred to us that this syndrome of "sick" people shooting multiple persons and school kids is afunction of an outdated and now misguided constitutional right?
    Sorry, but it is an "Only in america issue" Why?
    Its too easy to own today's type of weaponry. Stop it!!
    These guys are just as bad as Al Qaeda. the only difference Its actually legal in America to be capable of this kind of senseless killing.
    I love America, but this law/ constitional right needs serious amendment, and now not later!

    April 7, 2009 at 5:30 am |
  6. james

    people need to realize with crime going up ,by criminals of course, people will have to rely on themselves to protect their families and goods. police are not obligated to protect you, they cannot protect you when they are on avarage 8 minutes away. this administration does not believe you should own a firearms and should rely on local law enforcement to protect you. well we have seen within the last month what criminals will do to law enforcement i.e oakland and pittsburg. if criminals will do that to law enforcement what do you think they will do to an unarmed citizen? i suggest everyone buy a firearm before the government wants to ban them all. would we have our freedoms today if it wasn't for private citizens with firearms during the revolutionary war? no. buy a firearm and alot of them along with ammo.

    April 6, 2009 at 9:57 pm |
  7. Ken

    It isn't gun rights that is the problem, it's the stupidity associated with allowing almost any weapon to be owned. Why does the average American require an assault rifle or handgun? We don't hunt with assault rifles and the police should be the only ones with concealed handguns. Until we understand this simple truth, we will continue to suffer senseless death at the hands of desperate and illogical people.

    14.5 times (per capita measurement) as many Americans as Canadians die every year from handguns. An accident? Of course not.
    Protect yourself by banning handguns, or die defending them.

    April 6, 2009 at 9:14 pm |
  8. Mari

    @ Annie Kate....... Why? I heard that some far-right-AM-radio people keep saying that Obama will tighten or restrict gun sales. I think its the gun sellers that started that rumor!

    Yes, by all means let's buy more guns, so that more people can kill their families, neighbors or coworkers with them!


    April 6, 2009 at 8:07 pm |
  9. Linda Lawrence

    Just remember that only about 1500 people die from accidental shooting with guns. But about 150,000 people die each year from mal-practice by our doctors.

    Gun owners have to have a back-ground check. So getting a gun though the law will not hurt you.

    If someone wants to kill other people, they can use any kind of tool.'
    The gun is just a tool.

    If they take away your guns, then only the bad guys will have them.

    Why not teach good parenting, responsiblility, and then use really horrible punishment for offenders.

    That will take away or lesson the crime. Taking away a gun is like taking away a fork, people will find another way to eat.

    April 6, 2009 at 6:01 pm |
  10. Rick

    Obama doesnt want to push this to far,. Someone needs to remind his croonies this is America. We dont need a war with our own Government over our Gun rights.

    April 6, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  11. Gilbert Martinez

    Some in Washington want this great nation to follow Mexico's lead in the issue of not having a death penalty or making guns illegal for its citizens. Oh, yes. Some Washington's best would also like to legalize drug use, just like in south of the border. Just imagine, only the drug gangs and corrupt government officials would have the right to bear arms. The people will have plenty of drugs to pass the time while they wait to be abused by those with guns.

    April 6, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  12. Gilbert Martinez

    Think of Mexico when you call for the end of the few government policies that do work. The end to the death penalty for convicted murderers, Mexico. The end of gun ownership by its citizens, Mexico. Legalized recreational drugs, Mexico.

    Mexico, there is a nation that is on the verge of complete collapse. How did things get so horrible in Mexico? They were told by the media and their left leaning leaders that it was wrong to have the death penalty. Mexicans were told that casual use of illegal substance was a solution to the drug problem. They even gave up their guns to the Mexican Government for the sake of safety. Now the only ones with guns are the drug gangs and the corrupt beyond belief Mexican Government. They people sit in fear, while smoking their legal stash of pot, waiting to be murdered by either the armed to the teeth drug gangs or their own corrupt police forces/army.

    I like President Obama. I just hope he doesn’t start sacrificing common sense for political expediency.

    April 6, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  13. Luis

    buy a gun now while your dollar still has value thats all i can say.

    Also, pick up some gold and silver bullion in this dip.

    Get ready for a currency crisis. It might get nasty.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  14. Annie Kate

    Why are so many buying guns? Are they just trying to get their guns before some sort of restriction is placed on them or is there some new danger in the country that we need a gun for? With the economy the way it is and the anger about the economy, I don't see a surge in gun buying numbers as a good thing.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  15. Javon-Daytona Beach, Fl

    I guess Americans need their guns.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  16. Isabel

    A person with a gun in his hand is always a danger.
    A lost person, with a gun in hand, is much worse.

    April 6, 2009 at 3:26 pm |
  17. Isabel

    Interesting thread!

    In times of crisis, where people lose their direction, if there is not effective control of arms sales, bad things can happen – and this will increase the massacres and the violence.

    April 6, 2009 at 3:24 pm |