2016 continues on its record breaking pace to become the year with the most gun sales ever. It is not a squeaker. 2016 pulled ahead out of the gate and has been gaining ground ever since. The 2016 NICS checks are far ahead of those for 2015, the previous record holder.
In 2015, the total NICS checks for the year were 23,141,970. In 2015, through June, the numbers were 10,466,243. Through July, they were 12,067,075. Through August, 2015, they were 13,812,485.
For 2016 through June they are 13,829,491. For July, 2016, the record numbers continue. The FBI performed 2,197,169 checks in July, making 16,026,660 for 2016 so far.
2016 is already over two months ahead of the 2015 record. It is 32.8% ahead of where 2015 was at this time. If this pace continues, 2016 will end up with over 30 million background checks for the year. Instead of slacking off, the pace for 2016 seems to have picked up a bit.
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.
The NICS checks are done for more than new firearms. They are done for used firearms as well. They are done when trade ins are sold at gun shops or when used guns are sold at gun shows. NICS checks are done for gun carry permits, which are also breaking records every month.
We will not 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. (It’s easy to understand how a manufacturer wants to know exactly how many guns of certain models and calibers their competitors are selling.)
Given the NICS numbers, if there are over 30 million checks done in 2016, there will probably be over 18 million guns added to the private stock. That would increase the private stock to about 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%, during the two terms of the Barack Obama presidency. To reach that number there will need to be 14 million more NICs checks done in 2016 from 1 August to 31 December. In 2015, 11 million NICS checks were done in that period.
That would be a remarkable achievement.
Some polls have reported that the number of people who admit to owning firearms has decreased in recent years. This is not hard to understand.
When ownership of firearms is demonized as unpatriotic, when there are calls for banning the most popular rifle in the United States (the AR15 and its variants), when California has formed a special police group that goes door-to-door confiscating firearms registered by people recently labelled as prohibited possessors, when the Massachusetts AG unilaterally issues a diktat that guns previously not defined as “assault weapons” will henceforward be legally considered “assault weapons,” people will be reluctant to tell strangers that they possess guns.
After the political pressure for more Second Amendment infringements has passed, polls will reveal an increased number of gun owners who are willing to speak up.
All other indicators are for 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 the presidency of Barack Obama would be such a boon to American gun manufacturers?
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.