Firearm Purchase, Buying a Gun
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Total firearms sold at retail in 2023 might not have topped the Covid pandemic-inspired years of 2020 and 2021, but they were still strong enough to make last year the fourth highest total since records have been kept.

Background check numbers provided by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) totaled 15.8 million in 2023, bolstered by a strong December figure that was up 1.6% from December 2022. Incredibly, December 2023 marks the fifty-third straight month that background checks have exceeded the 1 million mark.

For comparison, 2023 was the fourth highest year on record since NICS was instituted in November. Only the years 2020, 2021 and 2022 had higher totals than last year.

Note that although not a direct correlation to firearms sales, the NSSF-adjusted NICS data provide an additional picture of current market conditions. In addition to other purposes, NICS is used to check transactions for sales or transfers of new or used firearms.

Mark Oliva, NSSF managing director of public affairs, said sales numbers indicate that Americans by the millions have once again shown that they want to continue to practice their right to keep and bear arms.

“These are solid figures that reflect the mood of Americans and the desire to exercise Second Amendment rights,” Oliva said. “In December alone, nearly 1.8 million times, Americans purchased a firearm at retail. That was a strong finish to cap off the 15.8 million times Americans did the same thing throughout the year.”

Oliva added that the sales numbers show how the gun issue is of top importance to many Americans, despite continued assaults by anti-gun politicians, bureaucrats and gun-ban organizations.

“These figures are a reminder of the importance law-abiding citizens place on their personal safety and freedoms, even as the Biden-Harris administration is using a ‘whole-of-government’ approach to chill and ultimately eliminate those rights,” he said. “These figures are encouraging for the firearm industry going into 2024. History indicates that background checks for the lawful sale of firearms typically rise during election years. This industry is ready to satisfy the demand for lawful firearm ownership in America.”

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    • you do have access to all that, they just make it easy to store it for you by keeping it in the guns stores on the ‘budget plan” where you don’t ‘budge it’ until its paid for.


    • And, buried deep within those statistics, is a troubled young man in Dallas County, Iowa…

      Meanwhile, Republican politicians are expressing their feelz…

      “Rep. Zach Nunn said he is “beyond angry” after a gunman opened fire at Perry High School“

      Really, who could’ve seen it coming…

      • Not you, apparently, or you would widely known for insisting that armed resistance be IMMEDIATELY available.

        • “We don’t allow the known useless insane of minors’ ilk in Iowa“

          So who shot the school principal at Perry high school?

        • Perry, for many years, has been overrun with illegals (and perhaps legal aliens/who also should not be in the US). LOT of “diversity” A major meat packing plant is in Perry. A real arm pit as a result.

        • MINOR49er, We as of this moment do not know as the police have not identified the shooter.

          I’m sure you want to call him a “troubled youth” which is double speak for mentally ill. And there is lies the crux. You Leftists would not want the mentally ill dealt with.

      • Admit it, miner. You live for these moments. If your side actually wanted to stop these events we could have a system in place to do so.

        Your side wants a body count so you can push a corrupt agenda.

        • “If your side actually wanted to stop these events we could have a system in place to do so“

          My side?

          Dallas County, Iowa is a solidly Republican county in a solidly Republican state, it was up to the conservative leadership to “have a system in place to do so”.

          And, just like in deep red Texas, their system failed.

          It’s simple, more guns in our society means more shootings, to suggest otherwise is delusional.

        • You used to claim you were not about gun control, miner. You made it pretty obvious.

          You know what is delusional, miner? War on drugs. War on alcohol. War on guns. That’s delusional.

          And your side is putting a million guns a month into our society. You and biden are the best gun salesmen in history.

        • MINOR49er, You ASS-U-ME that your “gun control measures” will keep us all safe. Just how so? You see law abiding citizens are not the problem. Criminals and the mentally ill are. You hoplophobes refuse to deal with either.

          You see crime control is the ultimate “gun control”. Putting bad guys behind bars is PUNISHMENT. It is not supposed to be a sabbatical or a vacation. We have no real control over personal behaviors and law enforcement is “reactive”. As to the mentally ill, you Lefties decided back in the 60’s and 70’s that the mentally ill cannot be housed in State Hospitals and should be “integrated’ in the community. Now as a basic rule, I don’t have any problem with mentally ill folks who are NOT a danger to themselves or others, but having dealt with them as a police officer and as a Corrections Officer (I was a Sergeant) I can tell you that just putting them out in the street is NO answer. In the hospital setting they were receiving treatment and appropriate medication. Today, that is not happening and the problem you people have created is coming home to roost!

        • “And your side is putting a million guns a month into our society. You and biden are the best gun salesmen in history“

          Nope, the arms manufacturers have provided products that millions of Americans, whipped into a frenzy by conservative demagogues, have diverted their hard earned dollars into, taking away from the funds that should be used for education and healthcare.

          And your unsupported claim is nothing but a weak diversion from the real issue, the conservative leadership in Iowa is responsible for the outcomes in their communities.

        • So who is responsible for the outcomes in San Francisco? Los Angeles? Chicago? Talk about a weak diversion.

          biden and you are ‘conservative demagogues’? We have barryocare. Medicaid. Medicare.

          Or are you just pissed because Americans spend their disposable income on what they want. Not what you want?

          The fact is that people are buying those guns because you fascists are putting the fear in them. You’ve openly stated that rights have limits. You’ve convicted Trump without a trial. hillary has said that she would like us in ‘re-education’ camps. We know where that ends.

          I hope we both live long enough to see Nuremberg 2.0.

        • MINOR49er. The Arms Manufacturers are providing product that the AMERICAN people want. You see that is the way the free market works. It has not a damn thing to do with “whipped into a frenzy by conservative demagogues.’ People buy the items that they want. These people are spending what is called “disposable income”. Education is a public affair up to and including the 12th grade. Healthcare is provided for in health care insurance.
          Now, whose claim is “unsupported?”

        • @minor 49

          At one time (1776 thru 1914), everything was legal. Machine guns, submachine guns, pistols, automatic and semi-auto rifles with 20 rd detachable magazines, huge shotguns, dynamite, heroin, cocaine, you name it, it was ALL over the counter.

          School shootings? Not so much.

          That started in ’66… The along come the Progs to save us all.

          It ain’t the guns and it ain’t dope.

  1. “Covid pandemic-inspired years of 2020 and 2021”

    Don’t play the same game as the MSM. It wasn’t the Covid pandemic. It was BLM/Antifa/Biden/Soros-funded justice reform, AKA Democrat Party-promoted lunacy. Never forget.

  2. There have been some good deals out there lately. I didn’t “need” any more firearms last year, but found some bargains that I couldn’t pass up.

  3. Now add in the hundreds of thousands (millions?) of acquisitions and PMF’s that are not included in those retail numbers from NSSF. I suspect the true number is over 20million for the year.

  4. If gun control was their goal then they are miserable failures. Hope they continue to waste resources on their failed cause.

    • They’re wasting our resources on their failed cause. Their battle against our rights is largely taxpayer funded.

      • Lil’ Mike’s money resources replenishes faster than they can use it. But, they’re wasting human resources when they could be doing something more effective like spending it all on indoctrination. That’s probably the real threat. They’ve been very successful at normalizing the crazy. I think they recently went too far, too fast, but the long term trajectory remains the same.

    • Largely those wasted resources are your tax dollars. Suspect, in addition to citizen dis-armament objective, much of their objective is to get as many dollars as possible in play all the better to skim, scam, squander, launder and pocket, and with which to buy the votes of the Free-Shit Addicted Government Plantation Dwellers…..all at your expense.

  5. Dans new place, Shooting News Weekly, is up and running and not much there and it looks like it only publishes maybe once a week, no comment sections, but lets see what happens as maybe they are still setting stuff up >

    sortta blah right now.


  6. We do so much talking about how tracking all this is illegal and how it will be used against us all by the left. Meanwhile we all want this tracked. We think the sales numbers are ok because it doesn’t include serial numbers but the only way to have that is to have both. It happens via the 4473 form. That form IS a registry. The only way to actually be legal is to make your own guns (with no serial numbers). When I see these articles, it’s the same thing the left does. The result is the left getting triggered and coming up with more illegal laws.

    • Everyone around here says “My gunm is registered.” if they filled out a 4473 to get it. Then you’ll have the , ” This gunm ain’t registered, I got it at dacian’s wife’s yard sale.”
      Yes a 4473 is a registration until you get it stolen, then it seems NICS has no knowledge. Nah, they are just to lazy to look it up. If the gunm is used in a murder and found in a ditch the gunm comes right back to you.
      Free Hunter Mandela

  7. lets see someone can at least ‘moderate out of existance’ that first post from the ‘login ligaciputra’ trolling spammer critter up above.

    • Nah they are too busy moderating us and “keywords”
      Kinda like the other agencies that are too busy devoting its efforts to us rather than the thugs/criminals

      • Well so far no hint of moderation under the new regime(for me anyway). Got a couple gats last year. No biggie. That’s gotten easier with my wife on board & carrying🙄

      • The spam filters only catch so much, they’re always finding ways around them. We do our best to manually nail the ones that get through and approve the false positives.

  8. My last AR-308 receiver was purchased Dec. 22 and none for 23. I am at the thankful point of having so many I can take ’em or leave ’em. Ammo and Accessories? That’s a story without an end.

  9. This explains the sharp uptick in murders the last couple of years, right?
    What, you mean that hasn’t happened?

    • pete…Not here, lots of guns and everyone appears to be accounted for. Not aware of any murder investigations, indictments, arrests, etc. Perhaps the uptick in the criminal misuse of firearms, bricks, bats, knives, vehicles, etc. is attributed to the uptick in heads filled with demoCrap?

  10. Democrats pushing gun control sell more guns than any advertising campaign could even hope to come close to. Between Obama and Biden there were probably at least 50 million more gun sales than would have happened without those two. The more there are, the less likely there is an attempt to take them as it would be a logistical nightmare. Not to mention people like that IL State rep who told the governor he “would not comply” with the new registration rules.

    • On that I always think of the song by CCR Wolly Bully.
      Take you a glass of water
      Make it against the law
      See how good the water tastes
      When you cant have any at all.
      Thank You Bill Cliton, before your assualt weapons ban all I had was a 22rifle and a shotgunm and a 44revolver.
      21 gunms and 1000 rounds is an arsenal.
      Wowie, and when Patty Hurst heard the burst a terrorists arsenal was a sawed off shotgunm, a .30 caliber carbine, a revolver and two pipe blombs.

      • “I always think of the song by CCR Wolly Bully“

        I think that was Sam the sham, a record company executive (and Navy vet).

  11. his should be no real surprise, with the increase in crime. People are interested in defending themselves.

  12. There isn’t much time left to prepare for the season finale of the USA. It is still up in the air if there will even be another season in the future or if it will be cancelled. Maybe eventually there might be reboot in the future with an all new cast.

  13. If gun sales supposedly went so well in 2023, why have Ruger (RGR) stock prices, earnings, and dividends all gone down the toilet in 2023?
    Something isn’t right.

  14. Reminder that Anderson, Aero, and PSA ALONE make a combined 1 million “other” firearms for civilian sale a year. These are essentially all AR (or AK for PSA) receivers that are sold as receivers, something which composes a relatively small part of the AR/AK market.

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