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Trump rallies and social justice protests may have driven a big year for gun sales, study says

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Gun sales in the United States soared in 2020, and those purchases correlated with participation in pro-Donald Trump rallies or protests against racism and police violence, according to a new study by researchers from Northeastern, Harvard, Northwestern, and Rutgers.

The online survey of 10,000 people, conducted nationally from mid-December to mid-January, asked participants whether they or someone in their household had bought a gun in 2020. In all, 23 percent of survey respondents who attended a Trump rally, a protest against pandemic lockdowns, or a protest against the presidential election outcome purchased a firearm.

Meanwhile, 13 percent of marchers in anti-racism or police violence rallies purchased guns, the survey found. In contrast, only 8 percent of people who did not attend a rally or protest purchased a gun.

“There’s a striking pattern,” says David Lazer, university distinguished professor of political science and computer and information sciences at Northeastern, and one of the researchers who conducted the study.  

Continue reading at News@Northeastern.

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