Gun Sales Reach Record Highs in 2020 Especially Among African Americans and First-time Gun Buyers

NSSF, Project ChildSafe and NAAGA Emphasize Gun Safety, Training And Responsible Storage


NEWTOWN, Conn. – The National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF®), Project ChildSafe® and the National African American Gun Association (NAAGA) are responding to record high gun sales in 2020, particularly among African Americans and first-time gun buyers, by providing free educational resources and tips on firearm safety and responsible storage for all new gun owners.


According to data from the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), 21 million background checks related to the sale of a firearm were conducted in 2020—a 60 percent increase over the previous year.


“NSSF estimates that 40 percent of those gun sales were for first-time gun buyers, totaling 8.4 million new gun owners in the United States in 2020,” said Joe Bartozzi, NSSF President and CEO. “That kind of growth validates the relevance and importance of the Second Amendment, but also speaks to an increasing need for firearm safety education. As a community of firearm owners, we all have a responsibility to use, transport and store firearms safely, and NSSF is committed to getting this information in the hands of all our newest community members.”


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


“We’ve seen a trend of more African Americans choosing to express their Second Amendment rights to own a firearm, especially for personal protection,” said Philip Smith, President and founder of NAAGA. “Purchasing a firearm is one step to protecting your family, but it also means safely storing your gun away from children, so they don’t hurt themselves.”


Programs like NSSF’s Project ChildSafe are addressing this growing demand for firearm safety education by providing gun owners with the resources needed to keep safe storage practices top of mind, and to help teach this information. These include:



“As parents, we all have ‘the talk’ with our kids about things like drugs, sex and making good decisions,” Smith says. “Talking about gun safety and responsibility is just as important, even if you don’t own a gun.”




About Project ChildSafe

NSSF, the trade association of the firearms industry, launched Project ChildSafe in 1999 (originally as Project HomeSafe). Since 1999, the program has provided more than 38 million free firearm safety kits and gun locks to firearm owners in all 50 states through partnerships with thousands of law enforcement agencies across the country. That’s in addition to the more than 70 million free locking devices manufacturers have included, and continue to include, with new firearms sold since 1998. While helping to prevent accidents among children is a focus, Project ChildSafe is intended to help adults practice greater firearm safety in the home. More information is available at



The National African American Gun Association is a 2nd Amendment Organization that educates and trains our community on the rich legacy of gun ownership of African Americans, offering education, training, support, safety standards, and cultural inspiration. The long-term goal of the National African American Gun Association is to have every African American introduced to firearm use for home protection, competitive shooting, and outdoor recreational activities.


About NSSF

The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of thousands of manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers nationwide. For more information, visit