The NICS checks total last month was 1,942,677. That’s a new record for May. The next highest was in 2016, 1,870,000. The National Instant Criminal background check totals continue to confound expectations. Instead of a continual fall during the Trump administration — the so-called Trump slump — the totals have remained surprisingly strong.
The May 2017 checks are just under 104% of the previous record, set in 2016. While the absolute number of checks for May are lower than the previous month, expected seasonal variations make May 2017 a record breaker.
It’s unclear what’s fueling the historic NICS numbers, but there are several possible causes. The increase is likely a combination of them. The violent post-election actions of leftist reactionaries, combined with fear that a Trump presidency could be overthrown by a media-driven “coup” could be motivations.
The violence on the left, as shown in Berkley, Portland, the District of Columbia, and San Francisco, has been well covered in the alternate media. The virulent hatred toward President Trump expressed in the establishment media is on display on a daily basis. And there have been numerous stories of people on the left buying firearms for the first time.
Fear of a firearms market glut brought about a drop in firearms prices, as retailers didn’t want to be caught with an unsalable inventory. Structural increases in the number of firearms owners may have increased the base level of sales.
NICS checks, of course, aren’t solely made up of gun sales. They also include checks for carry permits. Carry permit numbers are at an all time high all over the United States. Both new permits and renewals are increasing. This builds in an increased number of NICS checks without necessarily increasing firearms sales. The trend in the states has been to reduce fees and remove impediments to both initial issuance of carry permits and their renewal.
The average ratio over the past 15 years is just under .6 firearm sales for each NICS check. 10,699,334 checks have been done in the first five months of 2017. If that ratio holds true, about 6.4 million guns were added to the private stock in 2017 so far.
©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.