The November NICS background checks broke the record for the nineteenth month in a row. 2016 has become the year with the most gun sales ever. The 2016 NICS checks have surpassed those for 2015, the previous record holder. In November, 2016 the FBI completed 2,561,281 National Instant Checks. In 2015, the Fibbers processed2,243,030.
In 2015, the total NICS checks for the year were 23,141,970. In 2016, through November, they were 24,767,514. That’s 1,625,544 more than the total for 2015, with the biggest month, December, 2016, yet to happen. Last year there were 19,827,376 by the end of November. 2016 is nearly five million ahead of that record pace.
2016 is 25 percent ahead of where 2015 was at this time. If this pace continues, 2016 will end up a little short of 29 million background checks for the year. It is already the record breaking year of all time.
The common wisdom is that with the election of Donald Trump, the record breaking pace of NICS checks would slow. The price of gun manufacturing stocks has tumbled. But there are contrary indicators.
First, consumer confidence is soaring as we enter the Christmas season. Second, heightened gun sales have been reported for some minority groups. Third, many gun retailers have put product on sale, in anticipation of a drop in demand.
My prediction is that December will be a record breaking month, but not by a very large margin. The total NICS checks for 2016 will be between 28.8 and 29 million.
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.
NICS covers more than new firearms sales They apply to used firearms — when trade-ins are sold at gun shops or when used guns are sold at gun shows. Many states also require NICS for 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 exactly how many guns have been added to the private stock in 2016 until late January, 2018. The numbers will not be reported to the ATF until the end of 2016. The ATF is required by law to hold them from public view for a year, to prevent proprietary information from being released..
Given the NICS numbers, there will probably be 17+ million guns added to the private stock in 2016. That would increase the total number to 405 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 Barack Obama presidency. The increase will likely be 97 million firearms. We will have to wait for 2018 to determine a more precise number.
I expect December NICs to be 3.3 to 3.5 million.
Many indicators show a soaring and diverse level of gun ownership. Carry permits are burgeoning, approaching 15 million and more. Gun ownership among women and minorities is at an all time high.
Who would have thought that President Barack Obama would be the record-setting, all-time champion, gun salesman? The total NICS checks will reach over 253 million by years end. That will be over 153 million firearms added to the private stock in the last 18 years. Over 37 percent of the private firearms stock will be less than 18 years old.
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included. Link to Gun Watch