January Gun Sales Total of Over 1.2 Million Firearms is the 4th Highest On Record

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Never before has the federal government and its regulatory apparatus been more weaponized against lawful gun ownership. Never before have more states enacted more gun control law, directly in contradiction of Supreme Court precedent while, in effect, saying, “Yeah, what are you gonna do about it?

Americans see all of this — combined with understaffed law enforcement and the catch-and-release criminal justice system that’s operating in most urban areas — and are acting accordingly. They’re buying guns. Lots of them. Again. Still. As can be seen in January’s adjusted NICS background check totals.

Mark Oliva from the NSSF had this to say . . .

January’s background checks for firearm sales at retail show an encouraging and healthy 1.2 million total. That indicates that the appetite for lawful firearm ownership continues to be a priority for the American public.

This also marked the 42nd month in a row that background checks have exceeded 1 million in a single month. This is notable given the antigun sentiment by certain governors and members of Congress who ignore these trends and instead of focusing on reducing crime, holding criminals accountable and making their communities safer, only focus on instituting roadblocks and denying the rights of those who obey the law. Americans, by the millions each month, are taking ownership their Second Amendment rights.

Here’s the NSSF’s press release on the results . . .

The January 2023 NSSF-adjusted National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) figure of 1,268,236 is an increase of 6.5 percent compared to the January 2022 NSSF-adjusted NICS figure of 1,190,856. For comparison, the unadjusted January 2022 FBI NICS figure 2,612,736 reflects a 3.1 percent increase from the unadjusted FBI NICS figure of 2,533,096 in January 2022.

January 2023 marks the 42nd month in a row that has exceeded 1 million adjusted background checks in a single month.

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.

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  1. Defund the police, let thugs out of jail free, increase gun control. That sounds great, said no one , trying to have a family. Right is wrong, wrong is right. Your princes have the minds of children. Reckon what time it is?

  2. Every body’s got a gun. Every damn body. Try putting that toothpaste back in the tube.

  3. All I got last month was gun magazine’s I didn’t want! My gun buying wish list is a big azz revolver, perhaps a lever gat and a pump shotgun. A lot depends on defeating the evil Dimscum© of ILLannoy.

    • former water walker,

      I suggest a revolver and lever-action rifle both chambered in .357 Magnum.

      While I am a huge .44 Magnum fan, that is only because I use it for hunting large game and potentially defending against black bears which can weigh upwards of 500 pounds. In that regard, .44 Magnum is the clear winner.

      In terms of self-defense against humans, .357 Magnum is an outstanding caliber. And since you can shoot both .38 Special (including .38 Special +P) and .357 Magnum, ammunition is typically available pretty much everywhere. Last but not least, .38 Special and .357 Magnum ammunition are typically a LOT less expensive than .44 Magnum.

      Another advantage of .357 Magnum ammunition over .44 Magnum: it takes up less space and weighs less.

      • Oh, and in terms of a large revolver, Ruger GP100s have acceptable factory triggers, are built like tanks, and will last pretty much forever. If you can find one, their GP100 with a 5-inch barrel and full underlug are the ideal size in my opinion.

        I also like the Taurus Model 66 series which has a slightly better factory trigger than the Ruger GP100 and will also last pretty much forever. The other plus to Taurus Model 66 revolvers: they will cost considerably less than Ruger GP100s

        • Over the last year I got a 357mag 5″ GP100 and found a new woody Henry side-loading case-hardned octagon that I chopped down to 16″ suppressed. Good times have ensued.

      • Last month I picked up a Henry H012GMR Big Boy .357. Was going for the 45-70, but .357 is adequate for my needs and more.

        I concur with your recommendation.

        • FormerParatrooper,

          I have thought long and hard about caliber and platform choices for various uses as well as “end of society” scenarios. I keep coming back to a full-size revolver in .357 Magnum and a lever-action rifle in .357 Magnum. That caliber and combination is a fine for several uses. And I would argue that they could be the optimum choice if you are limited to one single caliber and platform in an “end of society” scenario.

          The only other contender, in my opinion, is .22 LR which is widely available and much smaller/lighter. Of course revolvers and lever-action rifles are available in .22 LR. The obvious downside, of course, is “stopping power”, whether applied to human self-defense, animal self-defense, or hunting.

        • I looked at all the options for deer caliber straight wall cartridges and barrel lengths to optimize those calibers, for me the .357 in a carbine was the choice. For home defense, deer hunting, and the other critters in my AO, it is sufficient and then some.

          For that “end of society” scenario, I would go flintlock. Ammo reload materials may be hard to get and the ingredients for black powder occur naturally. Wood , rocks, about anything you can find can become a projectile.

        • FormerParatrooper,

          Out to reasonable ranges and with careful powder charge and bullet selection, .357 Magnum will faithfully take white-tailed deer, especially out of a rifle where the long barrel provides a significant velocity boost (about 300 feet-per-second compared to a typical revolver barrel). For your specified use cases, .357 Magnum is an excellent choice.

          In my particular case, I went with .44 Magnum to ensure that I have guaranteed fast kills on white-tailed deer out to 100 yards (and possibly up to 150 yards) even when the deer is not perfectly broadside. I also chose .44 Magnum because, as I stated above, I camp, hike, and hunt in black bear territory and .44 Magnum has a higher probability (versus .357 Magnum) of promptly stopping an attacking 500 pound black bear.

        • If I lived where you do, I would have likely gone with 44 mag.

          Friend of mine who reloads is making me some hunting ammo. 180 grain and we will work out what my rifle wants. 158 grain is what I have used before and 100 yard zero. Rarely take a shot on deer over 10 yards, so have had great luck with 158.

        • FormerParatrooper,

          I think 158 grain is definitely the way to go in your case. And I think 158 grain will do a fine job taking white-tailed deer quickly within 50 yards out of your lever-action rifle.

          I have heard really good things about 158 grain Keith style bullets for hunting. That might be a good starting point. If you go with 180 grain bullets, conventional wisdom says that hardcast bullets with large flat meplats are the way to go for deer hunting. I think that I would still prefer 158 grain Keith bullets for hunting because those will have higher muzzle velocities and shoot flatter–especially if you want to zero for 100 yards.

          Good luck and have fun!

  4. So in the last 42 months well over 42 million ( probably closer to 52 million) firearms have been put in civilian hands. Rockin’!! 🙂

  5. I am failing to see a ‘problem’, here. I see no issue with continuing to set new gun sales records each month. After all, we only improve by continuously striving. I’ve got about four weapons on my wish list; perhaps it’s time to start acquiring.

    And on that note, anybody got a suggestion for a good defense/tactical shotgun? I was going to go ‘old school’, and just get a Mossberg 590A1, but I’m now flirting with the idea of a semi-auto. Comments/suggestions gratefully accepted.

    • Savage Renegauge Security is getting good press. 7 lbs. $1,499 list.

      Mossberg 940 Pro Tactical looks cool, also garnering praise. 5 lbs. $1,154.

      Disclosure: I just read gun mag reviews; no experience with either.

    • IWI TS-12. Got one. 15+1. Love it. Especially with the Manticore Muzzle Brake and a red dot on it. About the same price range as the Savage and Mossberg mention above.

    • I just FINALLY got my mossberg 590a1 retrograde today from Kentucky Gun Co for $779. (They’ve already raised to $829). I’m
      very pleased with this gun although I haven’t gotten to shoot it yet.

      As soon as I got home I put the M9 bayonet on it and started playing, surprised I haven’t cut myself yet. I’m wanting to either get it threaded for choke or get another choked barrel I can swap in.

      I can’t say it’s the best shotgun I have, but I don’t see how anyone could be disappointed with it.

  6. Since background checks are not a one-to-one ratio with firearms purchases, what is the best guess, as in several states a CCW negates the need for a background check.
    I like mine as it means no waiting or worry the NICS is down.

  7. Receivers for #4 AR-308 build were purchased in December and there will be no more firearms around here for sometime to come. All that remains to complete 4 is a 20″ Faxon big gunner barrel, a bcg, lpk and charge handle. I did enter a contest for an AR-15 and having a corral full I don’t care if I win it or not but if I do it will be donated.

  8. More and more law abiding American citizens, exercising their 2ndA rights!
    Warms the heart!

  9. An interesting juxtaposition: 1,000,000+ gun sales per month; more violent crime and more elected Dimwitocrats.

    The quick return of thugs to the streets does not explain the contradiction.

    • Sure it does. ((Logic/Emotion) * (Politics+Fear))/(Burnout * Insecurity) = Rationality^-1.

      It’s called “going down the shitter”. Happens to countries all the time.

  10. If you watch a few different parts of the market, you’ll see why.

    Personally, I watch food, food inputs, fuel in general, common medications, psyche meds, autoparts, spare industrial parts, replacement electrical transformers and various shipping rates as well as repo rates and utility cut-off rates. It’s also helpful to juxtapose the official vs the household survey and watch the producer sentiment surveys while keeping the various Fed bank’s reports (the various Fed branches) in mind.

    By the pricking of my thumbs/
    Something wicked this way comes
    seems to be the general feeling.

    And that’s widespread. I still see a lot of noobs at the gun stores. Even people who made it through 2020/1 without a purchase are suddenly considering it and a lot of people are trading in the gun they took as a last resort for something they consider better. And by better I don’t mean “nicer” or “flashier”. I mean “more utilitarian”.

    • strych9,

      Your last paragraph is very interesting.

      I figured that anyone who had not already purchased a firearm by the end of 2021 would never purchase a firearm. (If events up to that point did not provide enough incentive to tool-up, what else would?) It sounds like plenty of people are “seeing the light” and going out to purchase their first firearm. That surprises me.

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