Gun sales went pretty crazy in last couple of years 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.

Guns sales in Minnesota show no signs of slowing down, in fact, they are increasing yearly.

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.

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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).

According to, in 2020 there were 958,391 background 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, that made Minnesota #6 nationwide in background checks in 2020. That's a lot of guns.  Guns sales in Minnesota show no signs of slowing down, in fact, they are increasing yearly.

Last year Minnesota issued a record number of gun permits for the second year in a row. In fact it set a new record going back to 2003 when Minnesota passed the Personal Protection Act. Last year 106,488 gun permits were issued in Minnesota.  In 2020 that number was 96,554 gun permits issued

Besides self protection, there is a big rise in the number of people participating in shooting sports. “It doesn’t surprise me, there’s been a tremendous surge in the interest in the shooting sports,” said Kevin Vick, the president of Stock and Barrel and the club’s senior instructor.

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