Thursday, January 13, 2022

Coronavirus impact on interest in owning a firearm: That interest actually increased at an unprecedented rate

The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on interest in owning a firearm in the American public. Stylianos Syropoulos, Elise Puschett & Bernhard Leidner. Comprehensive Results in Social Psychology, Jan 10 2022.

Abstract: News outlets ran stories suggesting that firearm purchases in the United States might have increased during the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic. Such claims were made because gun stores were deemed essential businesses at the onset of the pandemic. However, there is no scientific evidence to validate this claim. We tested whether intentions to own a firearm actually increased at an unprecedented rate, by comparing the rate of increase in firearm checks (a conservative estimate of intentions to obtain a firearm) at the onset of the pandemic with the same time period in previous years as well as with significant events in recent American history. We defined the month of February as the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic in the United States because this was the month in which (a) the pandemic caught wider national attention, (b) the first official presidential address relevant to the Coronavirus was made, and (c) the CDC initiated its first measures to stop the spread of the virus. Understanding why (inclination toward) firearm ownership increases during times of national crises can help researchers and gun policy makers better understand the psychological needs driving firearm ownership, and potentially improve gun regulations and gun policies for the future.

Keywords: FirearmsCoronavirusgun violencethreat

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