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Following on the heels of 2020’s record gun sales, FBI pre-sale background checks indicate that New Yorkers are on pace to purchase their second greatest number of firearms since the NICS (National Instant Criminal Background System) check program went into effect.

“There have been 425,778 firearm background checks in New York in the first 11 months of 2021, far surpassing pre-pandemic gun-buying levels in 2019, when the FBI reported 355,374 total firearm background checks in the state,” reports The Hudson Valley Times Union.

According to the NRA, the upward trend in gun buying—and who is exactly buying them—is mirrored nationally: “Since the surge in gun-buying began at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, those in the firearms industry and the news media have made two important observations: 1. The increase in gun purchasing included many first-time gun buyers; 2. Those purchasing firearms did not conform to stereotypes about the typical American gun owner.”

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Firearm ownership is increasingly diverse as sales among women accounted for 40 percent of all sales nationwide, and purchases by African Americans increased by 56 percent compared to 2019.