Yes, April’s adjusted NICS totals estimating the number of firearms sold in the month are down from the 2020 and 2021 spike totals, but look at the graph above and compare the 2022 bar to the April totals from the Before Times. The only prior period that came close was 2013 during the post-Sandy Hook buying surge. Last month beat that total by about 13%.
That’s a huge number. Why are Americans still beating a path to their local gun stores in nearly record-breaking numbers?
Forget the partisan angle of these results. The PBS/NPR numbers reflect the general mood of the country. John and Jane Q. Public aren’t impressed by the current approaches to crime and guns being taken by the people who are currently in charge.
No One believes gun sales caused the crime spike we’ve seen in the last two years, and Putin didn’t do it either. It’s a result of defunded and demoralized police departments, bail “reform” laws and prosecutors who don’t prosecute.
Meanwhile, politicians tell the public to believe them, not their lying eyes. Pay no attention to the news of fewer cops, rampaging gangs and more violent crime in your cities and neighborhoods. Blame the guns.
Mayor Eric Adams of New York City arrived at his first #MetGala wearing a tuxedo jacket with the words “End Gun Violence” written across the back, along with a drawing of a handgun encircled in a “no” symbol. https://t.co/162WCJrQdy pic.twitter.com/ox1uvt7k5w
— The New York Times (@nytimes) May 3, 2022
As the April NICS data make perfectly clear, Johnny and Janey aren’t relying on politicians’ promises or the response time of their local law enforcement agency. They’ve decided that, whatever their opinions of firearms may have been in the past, they now want to have the ability to protect themselves and their families.
The NSSF’s Mark Oliva said about the April NICS results . . .
April’s NSSF Adjusted NICS figures of 1,359,908 shows that there is a steady and sustained appetite for lawful firearm ownership in America. April’s figure continues the streak of more than 1 million background checks for the sale of a firearm for 33 months and demonstrates that the firearm industry continues to meet America’s strong demand for lawful firearm ownership.
It is clear that those looking for the “new normal” of firearm sales following the two outsized years of 2020 and 2021 can find all the evidence needed to know that law-abiding citizens are turning out by the millions each month to exercise their Second Amendment rights.
Here’s the NSSF’s press release . . .
The April 2022 NSSF-adjusted National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) figure of 1,359,908 is a decrease of 19.7 percent compared to the April 2021 NSSF-adjusted NICS figure of 1,694,118. For comparison, the unadjusted April 2022 FBI NICS figure 2,534,057 reflects a 27.3 percent decrease from the unadjusted FBI NICS figure of 3,485,016 in April 2021.
The April 2022 figures are the third strongest for the month on record, surpassed by April 2021 and April 2020.
Please note: Twenty-five states currently have at least one qualified alternative permit, which under the Brady Act allows the permit-holder, who has undergone a background check to obtain the permit, to purchase a firearm from a licensed dealer without a separate additional background check for that transfer. The number of NICS checks in these states does not include these legal transfers based on qualifying permits and NSSF does not adjust for these transfers.
The adjusted NICS data were derived by subtracting out NICS purpose code permit checks and permit rechecks used by states for CCW permit application checks as well as checks on active CCW permit databases. NSSF started subtracting permit rechecks in February 2016.
Though 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.
It should be noted that these statistics represent the number of firearm background checks initiated through the NICS. They do not represent the number of firearms sold or sales dollars. Based on varying state laws, local market conditions and purchase scenarios, a one-to-one correlation cannot be made between a firearm background check and a firearm sale.