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.