Gunn sales went pretty crazy in 2020 and the pandemic fueled most of them. In 2019, there were a little less than 28 million background checks in the united States. In 2020, background checks skyrocketed. There were 39.3 million firearm background checks, the most since they started keeping track in 1998.

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Background checks went up in 45 states. Not in Kentucky, where there were 4.2 million background checks which works out to almost one background check per Kentucky resident.

States have different laws regarding guns. That combined with gun show sales, online sales and illegally sold guns it's difficult to really know just how many guns there are in the country.

Enter your number to get our free mobile app

It is however possible to estimate how many guns may be out there by using background checks tracked by The National Instant background Check System (NICS).

In 2020 there were 958,391 back ground checks reported. Per capita, that's 16.994 background checks per 100,000 Minnesotans. Just to compare, in 2019 there were 682,356 background checks or 12,100 per 100,000 residents.

Per capita, this makes Minnesota #6 nationwide in background checks in 2020. That's a lot of guns.  If you've been shopping for ammo lately, you likely found it a difficult thing to find these days. I'm guessing people are stocking up on ammo.

I don't doubt for a minute that the big increase in gun sales in directly related to the uncertain conditions the pandemic might fuel.


10 Moments From 2020 That Don't Feel Real