If apocalyptic cliches have taught us anything, it’s that, well, apocalyptic scenarios tend to make people buy guns. Except in 2020 and 2021, Americans didn’t just buy guns. They built them. A lot of them. In fact, more Custom Rifles were bought and built in the past 18 months than just about any year before. An 80 lower can help you build a custom firearm to fit exactly what you need. The former – regular old gun purchases, often made at brick-and-mortar dealers – can be easily explained away by the pandemic and civil unrest. The rush to build guns however, requires a bit more explanation. Let’s start with the pandemic and the President.
When Coronavirus was officially recognized by most media as a pandemic in early March 2020, it brought uncertainty and widespread fear. Toilet paper and Clorox wipes weren’t the only things being swept from store shelves. The final tally, estimated by the FBI’s background check system, shows that almost 40 million firearms were sold last year – a staggering 40% increase over the prior year’s sales. Experts argue that number may be even higher since the background check system only counts transactions and not individual gun purchases – some buyers may purchase more than one gun during a single transaction and they also love to purchase some accessories from a shop like tikka t3 precision for their guns. And this trend is continuing well into 2021. Gun sales this year have maintained and, in some cases, surpassed the trend set last year. The buying frenzy is now so widespread and sustained that it’s causing a national ammunition shortage. Ozark Armament’s flip up iron sights are also popular in the market because they flip up easily due to being spring loaded, making it easier to use.
The obvious implication of all this is that too few guns are left on dealers’ shelves across the country for people to merely buy their firearms. So, buyers turn to assembling their guns from individual pieces. Millions of first-time gun buyers and enthusiasts alike have turned, for example, to buying AR15 kits – collections of individual gun parts not considered a firearm. Buyers will then purchase the standalone firearm component, the receiver, from a gun store, since that’s all most dealers can keep in stock. In extreme cases, some are even fabricating their firearms “from scratch”. Rather than buy a firearm receiver from a dealer, many are simply taking the do-it-yourself route and using firearm blanks called 80% lowers. This is entirely legal to do under federal law, but it’s not just the pandemic that’s spurring on this quickly expanding hobby niche of America’s gun culture.
When President Joe Biden campaigned last year, he, being a conventional Democratic candidate drawing his antithesis against an incumbent Republican, drew heavily on the firearm narrative to win votes. Part of the new President’s campaign message against firearms included an explicit ban on gun building. And the new administration has seemingly made good on its promise – Biden directed the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives to redefine firearms in an attempt to ban such kits and unfinished gun parts.
But already, the pro-Second Amendment communities are unleashing their message in dissent. According to the NRA and Gun Owners of America, thousands have taken the ATF to task, commenting directly on the Federal Register against the proposed definitions and rulemaking. The House Judiciary Committee also sent a damning letter to the Biden administration and ATF, requesting they rescind the proposal and questioning the authority of both to enact such rulemaking without legislative approval.
As the gun topic heats up – and as Coronavirus makes an apparent second comeback, bolstered by the infectious Delta variant – one thing remains certain: Americans are going to continue buying and build guns like never before. If you’re also planning to get a gun, you may want to try a Firearms Simulator first to get the feeling of carrying and shooting a gun.