Despite the ISP’s Best Efforts, Illinois Leads The Way in 2020 Gun Sales

coronavirus gun sales

(AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

Imagine how many guns Illinois residents might have bought in 2020 if the Illinois State Police hadn’t been dragging its feet on FOID card processing all year long.

Who is buying these guns? A New York Times analysis shows that buyers cut across almost all demographic groups. Gun ownership has continued to be a flashpoint across the country, as the debate about who should own a gun and what kind of guns should be lawful continues, as it has for decades.

The rise in gun sales from 2019 to 2020 is not an anomaly. The number of Gun sales has increased most years since 1999. At the current pace, 2020 sales will reach over 38 million. Sales first topped 25 million in 2016, 20 million in 2013, 15 million in 2011, and 10 million in 2006. The first full year the FBI kept data was 1999 when sales were 9,138,123.

The rate of gun sales is by no means uniform from state to state, nor is the growth level. Among all states, Illinois has posted the highest sales through November, by far, at 6,625,082. That is almost 19% of U.S. gun sales in 2020, although the state has less than 4% of the nation’s population. By a similar measure, sales in California this year are relatively low at 1,465,612, which is 4% of the national figure. Almost 12% of Americans live in California.

— Douglas A. McIntyre in People In This State Bought More Than 6 Million Guns In 2020


  1. avatar Mr No says:

    Can you blame them…. shoot em up city 🌃 I know if I lived there I would have a ma Duce on my porch

    1. avatar Miner49er says:

      “2020 Compare Cities Crime:
      Houston, TX vs Chicago, IL
      Change Cities
      Houston, TX Chicago, I US
      Violent Crime 50.4 49.9 22.7
      Property Crime 63.2 46.3 35.4

      Crime is ranked on a scale of 1 (low crime) to 100 (high crime)”

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        “…if I lived there I would have a ma Duce on my porch.”

        Not for long.

  2. avatar The Crimson Pirate says:

    Congratulations Illinois.

    1. avatar SAFEupstateFML says:

      It will be interesting to see the year end data on highest volume of sales and per capita purchasers. Given the extra issue of an FOID card for new shooters Illinois’s numbers are impressive no matter what the breakdown tends to be.

      1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

        Yup. And the delay.
        Those numbers are very impressive.

  3. avatar Missouri_Mule Analyst says:

    So suppression is working in California……….

  4. avatar Ben Bow says:

    sales in IL are higher than that. That number is approved background checks. Last half of this year, nearly every sale I have had (in IL) has been selling 2 or 3 guns. An AR, a shotgun and a pistol. So I would at least double that number, or more

  5. avatar Prndll says:

    Interesting that nothing is said with regard to criminals being released from their cages.

  6. avatar former water walker says:

    I live in ILLinoyed for now. Not surprised as I belong to pro-2A orgs & FB groups too.While I haven’t bought a gat in ILL this year I’ve seen the crowd’s in ILL & IN. Indiana gunshop’s are a huge beneficiary of ISP graft,corruption and ineptitude. And I vividly remember the BlackLootersMurdering on May 31. My town did squat to protect me & mine. Sadly(stupidly?)it hasn’t translated to huge R wins. Even if it DID ILL republitard’s are domininated by RINO scum…

  7. avatar red wolf says:

    I’ll take that Taurus just to enrage the haters.

    1. avatar Dude says:

      At least it has the safety in the proper location.

    2. avatar former water walker says:

      My Tauruses run just fine…user ineptitude is a be-otch😏

  8. avatar Fred says:

    Can someone explain the tags “Not available after June 30th”?

    1. avatar Prndll says:


      What is considered an “assault weapon”?
      A semiautomatic pistol that does not have a fixed magazine but has any one of the following:
      A threaded barrel, capable of accepting a flash suppressor, forward handgrip, or silencer.
      A second handgrip.
      A shroud that is attached to, or partially or completely encircles, the barrel that allows the bearer to fire the weapon without burning the bearer’s hand, except a slide that encloses the barrel.
      The capacity to accept a detachable magazine at some location outside of the pistol grip.
      A semiautomatic pistol with a fixed magazine that has the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds.
      This is California. There is more to it but maybe this answers your question.

  9. avatar Jimmy Beam says:

    “Diversity” is a great driver of gun sales.

  10. avatar Gordon in MO says:

    Quote: “A New York Times analysis shows that buyers cut across almost all demographic groups.”

    Pay attention….a significant number of those buyers are probably BLM, AntiFa and such groups gearing up for the “final solution” they plan after January.

    1. avatar Miner49er says:

      “the “final solution” they plan after January.“

      That is hilarious! Be afraid, be very afraid!
      And be sure to send large donations to your favorite politicians and religious leaders, they’ll be sure to save you.

      1. avatar Gordon in MO says:

        Quote: “That is hilarious! Be afraid, be very afraid!”

        I’m not afraid, I’m realistic.

        In today’s world, when someone threatens me and my family I pay attention.
        When they are avowed communist/marxist I pay attention.
        History is a good teacher.

        Before you laugh so hard maybe you should go read the history of the 1917 Russian revolution and what happened to the people who did not support the communists plus many others and China and Cambodia and ……

        So go ahead and laugh now but, if you survive their revolution, for the rest of your life you will bitterly regret the day they took over.

    2. avatar Coolbreeze says:

      The gearing up of hate groups is what concerns me. Just because they bought a gun doesn’t make them second ammendment proponents.

      1. avatar John in AK says:

        You know, a lot of well-meaning folks here gloss over the point that you have just made: Just because somebody buys a gun (or, ‘acquires’ one), it doesn’t mean that they are now magically a 2nd-Amendment supporter. What it DOES mean is that they recognize the simple fact that having a gun is SO much better than NOT having one, especially when the anticipated adversary DOES have one. Or two. It has nothing whatsoever to do with supporting the Constitution, or the Bill of rights, and everything to do with finding the appropriate tool (read: weapon) to defeat a political adversary.

        We can blindly applaud all of the new gun owners as being new allies who are staunchly behind the 2nd Amendment, or we can accept with sadness that a whole BUNCH of those new gun owners are taking advantage of the RKBA in order to be better able to destroy our way of life and our nation, not necessarily in that order.

        Sure, it’s a wonderful thing to have BLM and AntiFa and assorted Left Coast Liberal Radicalists arming themselves as rapidly as possible so as to be competitive with possible adversaries in the streets of our cities, so long as they’re supporting the 2nd Amendment, right? It’s EVERY citizen’s right to possess a gun, right? No matter their political views or aims, right? Every dedicated Marxist revolutionary in the country who’s a citizen should be able to obtain firearms, right? God Bless the 2nd Amendment!

        Oh, that last paragraph was sarcasm. . . Just so you know. Not that I’m bitter, mind. Just pragmatic.

  11. avatar TechGuy says:

    I live in Illinois although, NOT in “Crook County”. I have “enough” guns for every purpose; SD, hunting, target, range toys, etc. While the “correct number” of guns to own is …one more than you currently own, I will NOT pay twice the “normal” price for a gun I don’t really need. I can wait. Besides the shelves are stripped bare in every gun shop. Nothing I would want is available.
    What I have done is, concentrate on stocking my reloading bench. When I realized I was “a little short” on small rifle primers, I paid $175 for 1000 WSR’s that should have sold for $30. Until recently bullets and powder were not a problem. I have plenty.
    You can’t really blame the ISP. Illinois is BROKE! Also “broken”. A few years ago our Dem Gov. transferred $29 Mil. from the ISP permit funds to the IL General fund. He’s probably taken lots more since then. The ISP doesn’t have the money to hire enough people to keep up with permit applications in the best of times. After the panic hit, the few people who process permit applications were up to their earlobes in apps.
    I’ll be moving to a better state in the not too distant future.

    1. avatar former water walker says:

      Meh…I belong to “End the FOID” too. Fat boy for prison 2021! A mile east has much lower “gun violence” than Cook co. And no FOID!

    2. avatar ABN LRRP RGR 3 tours RVN says:

      I live in Indiana a stones throw away from the Illinois and Michigan state lines, I and one of my best friends (next door neighbor) both have “plural” weapons for hunting, plinking, target, skeet, and self home defense if needed….we do our hobbies up on well secluded properties in Michigan, Iowa, and out to his Montana properties several times a year. In all our years we never had a concealed weapons permit, or ever even carried a weapon on our person for self defense, both my brothers have permits and carry. We were coming back from Montana in early September and talking about this, my buddy and I then decided to apply for permits to carry this year because of all the expanded criminal craziness everywhere, accosting’s, robberies, shootings, carjacking etc. along with the pandemic and political climate of the time. I just checked the website Indiana Handgun License Status, it’s been 88 days now and it says PENDING ISP APPROVAL. I purchased a beautiful new Kimber Micro 9mm for “if an when” the CWP comes in the mail. The Federal background check to purchase the pistol took 29 days, It’s all a waiting game because the systems are backlogged and clogged!

    3. avatar Meatwad says:

      I’m in North Western Lake County and the only two shops I frequent are pretty well stocked with everything but ammo.

      As for prices, it depends what you want. Military style rifles are selling for a noticeable premium, but a lot of pistols aren’t marked up much. I’m not going to pay the $1000+ over MSRP that the HK SP5k PDW is currently commanding, but I’ll probably pay the slight premium the VP9 is going for. If I order one online I’ll end up paying about what the average consumer would have paid if they walked into a shop pre-panic.

  12. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

    Even in Vermont the Leftist’s are complaining about the unprecedented arms sales numbers and it’s a small state population,600,000.

    Vermont firearm sales exceed 50,000 for first time
    With a month left to go, gun sales in Vermont appear to have exceeded 50,000 for the first time since the federal government began conducting firearms background checks in 1998.

    Through November, the federal government conducted 52,855 background checks for Vermont firearms purchases, according to the FBI National Criminal Instant Background Check (NCIS) system.

    1. avatar Dude says:

      Let me guess, Vermont rocketed up to the top of the gun homicides per capita? /s

      1. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

        It has remained as it usually is almost non existent. Every year Vermont,New Hampshire and Maine swap off 1 2 3 for the safest state in the nation and all three are Constitutional carry states as well,so much for blood running in the streets and all the other related Leftard Bravo Sierra.

  13. avatar Ralph says:

    Citizen’s of Chicago can sleep well tonight in the knowledge that the ISP is slow-walking applications from gang bangers.

  14. avatar Hugh Askew says:

    Sales might have been even higher if Illinois hadn’t forced many of it’s small local gun shops to close up.

  15. avatar Ironhead says:

    Bought 3 this year, even with the isp taking 6 months to renew my foid. Supposed to be no longer than 30 days.
    My girl just applied for hers, so I’m thinking she will have it in about March of 2022.

  16. avatar Shawn says:

    Actually those numbers are misleading. Illinois runs NICS checks on every CCW holder every month and even several times a month. Some people get an NICS check done on them literally every day if they have a CCW. You have to chop off at minimum 320,000 NICS checks per months, almost 3,800,000 this year.

    1. avatar Thomas says:

      Exactly. This has been documented before that Illinois background checks and sales are not remotely equal. Also Illinois is the sole state that engages in this excessive screening.

      Then again this is the media, why would they ever let facts get in the way of their ‘reporting’?

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