By Samuel Stebbins, 24/7 Wall St. via The Center Square

Gun sales in America, as estimated by background checks, jumped at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and remained high until well into 2021. Several days and weeks in that period set all-time records. Total sales were 28,369,750 in 2019 and 39,659315 in 2020.

During the period of the increase, the number of first-time gun buyers jumped. First-time buyers have accounted for about 20% of new gun sales nationwide in 2020.

Recently, however, gun sales have collapsed. June gun sales last year totaled 3,054,726 nationwide. Last month, nationwide gun sales totaled 2,570,608. Compared to the first six months of 2021, there were 6.4 million fewer background checks for the purchase of a firearm, a 28.7% drop.

In Montana, gun sales are falling, but at a slower pace than the national decline. There were a total of 70,552 FBI firearm background checks in the state in the first half of 2022 compared to 85,087 in the first six months of 2021 — a 17.1% reduction and the 40th largest decline among states.


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