Gun Control

Has national turmoil blunted the momentum for new laws?


The COVID-19 pandemic and nationwide protests following the killing by Minneapolis police of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, have shaken up the gun control debate. The twin crises sparked a surge in gun sales, with the FBI performing 6.6 million background checks on would-be gun buyers in March and April alone. Many of the guns were purchased by first-time buyers who feared the violence unleashed by some of the protests, or were concerned that the pandemic would wreak havoc on society. The boom in gun sales has prompted concerns that an increase in gun violence and suicides will follow. COVID-19 temporarily pushed gun control out of the headlines, but the Supreme Court brought it back in June when it declined to hear appeals of 10 cases restricting gun ownership.

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