Gun sales for October continued their record-breaking pace. It’s now virtually assured that 2016 will be America’s biggest gun sales year in history. The 2016 NICS checks are far ahead of those for 2015, the previous record holder.
In October 2016, the FBI processed 2,333,539 background checks — compared to October 2015’s 1,976,759. The total NICS checks for the previous year: 23,141,970. In 2016, through October, the FBI processed some 22,206,233 checks. That’s less than 1 million below the total for 2015, with the two biggest sales months in 2016 remaining.
The numbers are 26.3% ahead of where 2015 was at this time. If this pace continues, 2016 will finish with 29.2 million background checks for the year.
The FBI performs gun dealer-requested NICS checks for new and used firearms. The Fibbers also run background checks when gun shops sell trade-ins and when used guns are sold by dealers at gun shows. States uses the system to run background checks on applicants for gun carry permits (which are also breaking records every month). In most states, once a person has a carry permit, further NICS checks are not required to purchase a firearm.
We won’t know the number of guns added to America’s arsenal of democracy in until late January, 2018. The ATF is required by law to hold the sta from public view for a year, to prevent proprietary information from being released (manufacturers would dearly love to know exactly how many guns of certain models and calibers their competitors are selling).
There are 15 years where we can compare the NICS background checks to the actual addition to the private firearms stock, as reported to the ATF. During that period there have been about .6 firearms added for each NICS check. In the last 18 years, Americans have added 150 million firearms to the private stock. Over 37 percent of the private firearms stock is now less than 18 years old.
Given the NICS numbers, there will probably be 17 to 18 million guns added to the private stock in 2016. That would increase the total number to 405 – 406 million private firearms in the United States.
The private firearm stock in the United States will have increased by nearly 100 million firearms, or 30 percent, during the two terms of the Obama presidency. To reach that number, the FBI will have to perform seven million more NICs checks from 1 November to 31 December 2016. (In 2015, 5.56 million NICS checks were processed in that period.)
If Hillary Clinton is elected in a week, I predict that we will exceed that number. If Donald Trump is elected, NICS checks will drop. How much is uncertain.
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.