Report: Gun Sales Surge in States Adopting ‘Radical Measures’ Against 2A Rights

background checks
AP Photo/Lisa Marie Pane, File

A National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) report on April 2023 background checks shows gun sales surged in states where “radical measures” against Second Amendment rights have been adopted, are about to take effect, or are awaiting outcomes of lawsuits.

Mark Oliva, NSSF Managing Director of Public Affairs, noted, “April…[witnessed an] uptick of 1,369,296 FBI National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) verifications.”

He suggested this increase “shows that there continues to be a steady appetite for lawful firearm ownership even as certain state governors and legislators are taking radical measures to infringe on the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens to possess firearms.”

Oliva noted the desire to posses firearms is particularly acute when it comes to AR-15s, AK-47s, and variants of both rifle types.

He pointed out that Washington and Illinois–the two states which adopted “assault weapons” bans this year–saw sharp increases in NICS checks for gun sales.

“Washington state tallied 71,272 adjusted background checks in April 2023, compared to 49,641 in April 2022” and “Illinois posted a total of 39,954 adjusted background checks in April 2023, compared to 35,790 in April 2022,” Oliva said. (NSSF uses the phrase “adjusted background checks” to note checks which specifically apply to gun sales.)

And in Democrat-controlled Oregon, where more gun control is consistently pushed year after year, there were “43,574 adjusted background checks in April 2023, compared to 27,921 a year ago.”

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio and a Turning Point USA Ambassador. AWR Hawkins holds a Ph.D. in Military History, with a focus on the Vietnam War (brown water navy), U.S. Navy since Inception, the Civil War, and Early Modern Europe. Follow him on Instagram: @awr_hawkins. You can sign up to get Down Range at Reach him directly at


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