March 18, 2020 Blog
COVID-19 Sparks Spike in Gun Sales
As people across the United States try to prepare for the uncertainty of COVID-19, reports suggest that the virus has sparked an increase in gun and ammunition sales.
The first reports came from Washington state, where Asian-Americans feared a xenophobic backlash to the coronavirus. The trend has since spread across the country and, troublingly, seems to include many first-time gun buyers.
It is understandable to feel worried during these unprecedented times. But research shows that a gun in the home INCREASES the risk of death rather than decreases it.
As Dylan Matthews at Vox explains, “Guns can kill you in three ways: homicide, suicide, and by accident. Owning a gun or having one readily accessible makes all three more likely.”
There is clear and compelling data proving the increased risk in each of those categories.
In the case of homicide, we know that the presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation increases the risk of death by at least five times. Similarly, someone with access to firearms is three times more likely to commit suicide as someone without access. Finally, states with more guns see more unintentional firearm deaths.
As we all cope with the uncertainty of COVID-19, we must all do our part to keep our communities safe. Here are some things you can do:
- If you are a gun owner, store your gun safely! Keep it locked, unloaded, separate from ammo, and inaccessible to children and other vulnerable household members.
- Share this information with your friends and family: more guns do NOT make us safer.
- Check in on your loved ones, especially those who live alone or might need extra support and resources during the coming weeks and months.
- COVID-19 and Gun Violence: Two Public Health Crises
- COVID-19 and Domestic Violence
- COVID-19 and Firearm Suicide
- COVID-19 and Unintentional Shootings