Year: 2020 Source: New England Journal of Medicine. (2020). DOI: 10.1056/NEJMe2007658 SIEC No: 20200403

In March 2020, as the coronavirus pandemic spread throughout the United States, Americans bought nearly 2 million guns — the second highest monthly total in the decades since such records have been kept. Previous spikes in U.S. firearm sales have followed widely publicized mass shootings and the attendant national calls for regulations regarding the prevention of gun violence. (January 2013, the month after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, holds the record for the highest number.)1 That so many Americans started or added to their personal arsenal when faced with deeply uncertain times suggests the extent to which many consider a firearm to be a form of personal protective equipment during a national emergency.