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Gun Nation just passed a significant milestone. July was the 48th consecutive month with one million or more adjusted background checks, the best measure of retail gun sales. That’s a very big deal for a couple of reasons.

First, the NSSF’s adjusted number is really a minimum. It doesn’t account for sales of multiple firearms in on transaction and it doesn’t include sales in states that don’t require background checks for carry permit holders (never mind private sales).

Second, the line between Gun Nation and the country as a whole grows more blurred by the day. Given the fact that recent research shows the number of gun owners may actually be as high as 60%, America is increasingly becoming Gun Nation.

Some will say 48 straight months is notable given the current administration’s never-ending attacks on gun makers and civilian firearm ownership. In fact, Americans’ appetite for guns and the exercise of their Second Amendment rights is as high as it is because of the Biden war on guns, not in spite of it. Nothing makes Americans want something more than duplicitous politicians and the complicit media telling them they shouldn’t have it.

Here’s what the NSSF’s Mark Oliva had to say about the latest numbers . . .

This is a remarkable milestone of four continuous years of over 1 million background checks for the sale of a firearm. That’s no small achievement and is indicative of the strong and sustained appetite for law-abiding Americans to take ownership of their Second Amendment rights.

It also shows the resilience of the firearm and ammunition industry to meet this continued demand for high-quality firearms that today’s gun owner expects. This milestone was achieved in the midst of the continuous attacks by the Biden administration which has demonstrated nothing but contempt for the Second Amendment and has twisted the levers of government to impede the ability of law-abiding citizens to legally possess firearms of their choosing.

Americans are sending a clear signal each and every month. The Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms is not up for negotiation.

Here’s the NSSF’s press release announcing the July numbers . . .

The July 2023 NSSF-adjusted National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) figure of 1,023,903 is a decrease of 17.0 percent compared to the July 2022 NSSF-adjusted NICS figure of 1,233,115.

For comparison, the unadjusted July 2023 FBI NICS figure 1,987,650 reflects a 15.7 percent decrease from the unadjusted FBI NICS figure of 2,358,150 in July 2022.

July 2023 marks the 48th month in a row, 4 years, that has exceeded 1 million adjusted background checks in a single month.

Please note: Twenty-four 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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    • Likely already 2M. In Iowa if have purchase card (as most do) there is NO background check at the time of purchase. One piece or one hundred.

      Actually the # that matters is the net new gun sales. Sales of used don’t increase the stockpile, just redistributes it.

  1. I’m looking at the new S&W 22mag…maybe the Springfield Echelon…have a rifle on order due in this month- hopefully.
    Always room for a semi/custom 1911.

  2. Always a skeptic, I wonder if the anti-gun mafia are buying most of the guns, in order to show gun sales are driving crime?

    Kinda, sorta like voting for your opponent in primaries because you believe the opposition is very weak, and easy to beat (Operation Chaos).

    • Yep, I wish we had open primaries in Ohio, for just that purpose. Of course, I realize there are two sides to that coin, but it would make me feel good for a day or two, in a twisted sort of way.

      As for the mafia, maybe a Fast and Furious 2?

      • “As for the mafia, maybe a Fast and Furious 2?”

        That cannot not be in the mind of someone powerful on the other side.

    • If you’re looking to be skeptical, just put the numbers in context.

      July’s numbers are -11% MoM and -16% vs July 2022. July had the least background checks run in a month since October of 2018 at 2.02 million (unadjusted).

      Now, the numbers are not bad per se but this article is an example of what’s constantly decried on TTAG as “spin”, yet this behavior tends to be ignored when it tells us what we want to hear.

      Now’s probably a good time to stock up on ammo though. The next few months will probably be the lowest prices since early 2020 and I’d say, 60/40 this ends up being the lowest prices for the foreseeable future. Provided nothing crazy happens for the rest of the year, it might also be a good time to shop sales for that thing you’ve wanted but didn’t want to pay the *new* price for since price drops are the first attempt to clear inventory.

      Anecdotally, I don’t see the number of noobs flocking to the local ranges, suggesting that the panic is over to some degree. It’s been that way for a while so I’d suggest that we’re back to most guns being purchased by people who already own other guns, which isn’t expanding “the brand” and, to some degree, suggests a misplaced priority IMHO given the various colors of the current backdrop.

      • “If you’re looking to be skeptical, just put the numbers in context.”

        “Context” is not something gun grabbers are interested in; only raw numbers. Raw numbers of approximately 4million new gun purchases annually is sufficient to “prove” gun sales lead to more violent crime. Then, when useful, gun grabbers will point to an annual decline in gun sales as “proof” that the number of legal gun owners is trending toward insignificance. Thus the legitimacy of 2A is falling.

        About ammo: LGS is selling 9mm for $1/rnd, in cartons of 1000rds. Fortunately, .22LR is way less than that.

        • Propaganda is what they do.

          We should put things in context so that we might properly appraise the situation. Which also means that we shouldn’t “spin” to ourselves, something we do regularly.

    • Its the gov arming the IRS, Dept of Education and Energy as well as Social Security. In fact I doubt the the EPA doesn’t have hundreds of weapons. Obama said he’d create an alternative military.

  3. Thank you dacian and miner49er for all you’ve done to create a nation of gun owners. Couldn’t have done it without you.

  4. I don’t think I bought a firearm last month, but I’ve been trying. I want a Wilson Combat Compact with a LW frame. Wilson says 24 months. I’ll go $4000 if someone out there has one they’ll part with.

  5. So purported sales are continuing to fall, eh Oliva? You gonna tell the members to lower prices and boost production, to bring that number up? I’ve got some cash to burn…

  6. I wonder if there is a correlation with the increased number of state allowing permit-less carry. Are those states seeing the biggest increases in gun sales?

    • Now probably 20-21 it was likely more states like NY CA and others re first time buyers+panic at actually seeing riots.

      • I can only speak to my own experiences. But I live in CA. During the covid scandemic and the “mostly peaceful riots” I was helpful in getting firearms to non gun owners who were suddenly afraid.

        What does that mean overall? I don’t know. But I doubt my experiences are isolated.

        • Similar with NY and got crowded/priced out of the nearest indoor range with perpetual shortage of everything until about 8 months ago.

  7. Looking at the Anaconda with the 8″ barrel. Reviews are good, and it looks beautiful.

    • I was going to say it’ll all fade when college and pussy come into play but even a blind kid can see that the trades are where it’s at and college is dead so maybe there’s hope after all.

    • 18yr old boys are mostly fools but not stupid (thus not enlisting in Joey Obiden WOKE military.

  8. It looks like we might be seeing some market saturation taking hold. That and overall inflation would discourage impulse buying. People need to buy food, housing, gas, etc. also, and that cuts into their disposable income for firearms and related stuff. Really hard to get a handle on this for the reasons NSSF mentions.

    • In 2023 personal/household security has moved WAY up in the hierarchy of needs compared to say 2008 (pre Obama) or 2022 (pre Obiden). So, Disagree.

    • BREAKING JUST IN: Major Legal Brief Filed in SCOTUS Destroying ATF’s Flawed “Ghost Gun” Ban

  9. So that’s at least 48 million more firearms in the hands of Americans. Liberal heads must be exploding. I know I did my part.

  10. Not really in the market for any new firearms. Now, I might be interested if someone has an old SA Colt or Remington in 44WCF. As well as possibly an original Winchester in the same.
    Ran across an article on another conservative site claiming someone was wanting to purchase every eligible black man an AR in order to force/encourage Republicans to support gun control. Most of the comments were favorable to buying blacks rifles, and welcoming any interested people to join them at the range. Not really the response the Marxist proposing the idea wanted. Funny how Leftists accuse conservatives of being racist, but they are the ones pushing racist policies and programs. Most of us out here in the real world just don’t care what color someone’s skin is.

  11. “This is a remarkable milestone of four continuous years of over 1 million background checks for the sale of a firearm.”

    Poorly written lead line of announcement. I bet 99% of people reading it think that 1M guns were sold during the whole year for 4 years straight and thus 4M total. I hope there is better context on the leadup to this line that isn’t shown here. Why not give the total count over those 4 years upfront.

  12. @strych9
    “Propaganda is what they do….We should put things in context so that we might properly appraise the situation.”

    Not sure how clinging to “context” in a propaganda war benefits. If the public is quite happy to observe and analyze without “context”, what does it prosper to insist that fact, evidence, statistics, reason and logic are important?

    When the opposition successfully screams emotion, and gains followers, doesn’t “context”, etc. amount to simply evangelizing the saints; preaching to the choir? Revering “context” and evidence is more about feeling good about ourselves, than doing whatever is necessary/legal to erase the Left from political discourse.

    If moral victories (“context”) are the goal, we must also declare that moral victories are the epitome of losing. Which, as you noted, also requires that we stop deluding ourselves, stop ignoring “context”, and recognize what time it is.

    • Go back and read what I wrote a while back about how to game surprise, which is a mixture of anxiety and curiosity, which are both emotions.

      It is not an inherently “bad” act to game this brain system. Good teachers do it all the time, this is, quite literally, their job. And when they’re good at it we applaud them for finding a way to get a high school student to pay attention long enough to do something pretty boring like correctly figure out and then write the electron configuration of a given element or ion or solve a long and detailed math problem.

      The kid had to WANT to learn how to do that thing and that want is an emotion. That desire is, mostly, created by the teacher and we know this is true because all high school kids have attention that wanders. Yet, they can be taught introductory chemistry or calculus, both rather dry topics.

      That kid, mostly unless they simply had a predilection for the topic, learned that very specifically due to someone gifted at emotional manipulation but who geared that manipulation towards the betterment of the person being manipulated.

      No matter what you do there will be manipulation. When it’s done for the benefit of the person in question to make them better equipped for society it’s called “education”.

      So, while it’s true that you can’t logic someone out of a position that they emoted themselves into, you can emote them out of it via surprise and gaming downstream anxiety or curiosity (your choice, I’d pick the latter, but you do you). This also works in reverse, people not being emoted out of positions they logic-ed their way into.

      It is therefore possible, quite evidently, in education, advertising and propaganda, to emote someone out of an emotional position and then assist them in using logic (or emotion) to get them into a new position.

      The Right has a choice. They can choose to learn about neuroscience and use it the way the Left does, or they can bend over, first to get fucked and then to get decapitated like a Saudi apostate.

      Of course, first you have to get the Right to actually pay attention long enough to read 20 pages…

      • “Of course, first you have to get the Right to actually pay attention long enough to read 20 pages…”

        Agree: until the “logic, evidence, fact” people find an effective emotionally persuasive tactic, “logic, evidence, fact” as an opposition to leftism will struggle, and mostly fail, to convince anti-gunners they are wrong. The “moral victory” (essentially a death cult) element rules the day for the “Right”.

        • True but “we” (which I generally use a the term “the Right” as a synonym even though I don’t really consider myself on the Right) have to wield weapons that are effective.

          We don’t. There’s a reason that the “Conservatives ain’t got no time for fancy book learnin’ shit” meme has traction, because it’s actually kinda true.

          As I’ve said before, the last serious intellectual I can think of from the Right is William F. Buckley Jr., though I’d be willing to grant the title to Charles Krauthammer under some conditions.

          And when I say intellectual, I don’t necessarily mean academic. I mean someone who’s a thought leader who can actually plan things out more than two moves in advance. The Left has an army of such people and the incubation chamber to make more plus the table the Right long ago surrendered where they can plan things out without the Right knowing about it.

          The Right has none of that. They’re in a war against WWII Germany using essentially Civil War tech. To stretch that analogy a bit farther than I might like, the Poles at least had bolt actions and they got wrecked. The American political Right doesn’t even have bolt guns, they have Kentucky rifles and cutlasses to go up against against MG42s, MP40s and K98’s backed by aircraft and tanks.

          The only people pushing back effectively against the Left at this point are disaffected former Lefties and squishbox independents.

          Shit, just look at wide swaths of the Right basically calling for the elimination of the 1A and the right to assemble because of some streamer’s PS5 giveaway gone wrong in NYC. Intellectual heavyweights these people are not. They’re carrying the Lefty authoritarian’s water without even realizing it.

  13. @strych9
    “The only people pushing back effectively against the Left at this point are disaffected former Lefties and squishbox independents.”

    There is the unending conflict between winning, and the method of winning. Seems there is a wide spread cohort declaring that it is better to be honorable than to win (“If you act like them, you are no better than them.”).

    When your life is at stake, there is no honor in being honorable; “If you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying.”

    • I personally don’t think it comes down to morals or ethics. I think it comes down to laziness and psychology of the Right.

      Conservatives have been losing, badly, for 70 years and they’d rather complain about it than actually do something to fix it.

      Some of them, IMHO, are dumb, some are stupid, some are lazy and a huge percentage have a form of Stockholm Syndrome. But a very large portion of this is an aversion to anything they find “academic”. I suspect this is because “academic” means “Leftist” to them.

      I can boil several hundred pages of Leftist doctrine and tactics down to five to 10 paragraphs right here on TTAG and have people actually reply with “TLDR” or similar. That’s an unfucking believable level of lazy. Try it most other places and you get the same reaction from three fairly short paragraphs like the one you’re currently reading.

      Realistically, the Left’s not that hard to defeat. I’ve laid out several broad strategies for it here which the Left, quite literally, cannot defend against very well. The fact that I’m the only person I can find saying this is insane to me. But then, again, getting Conservatives, especially, and most unfortunately, Boomercons to read 20 pages is like trying to get blood from a stone. Which isn’t to say that they’re all bad, but FFS, if 10% of these people would simply dedicate 90 minutes a week to reading the whole Right side of the aisle would be lightyears ahead of where it actually is.

      • Agree: the TLDR folks are a disappointment; I call those “the echo chamber. Seems that if some members at TTAG don’t see the usual screeds, and reinforcement of prejudice, they have little interest in engaging in serious thought. I do admit that I find the current style of commentary that is one giant blob of text difficult to read, and get lost in some postings. Then, I do the TLDR myself.

        As to the “dying with honor, rather than victory” supporters, to be, as you note, lazy, unengaged, superficial, and most likely trying to curry favor with people who think people of honor are just sheep to be slaughtered.

        There is a place, in serious discourse, for brevity, but some things need exploring, whether attempting to educate/inform, or correct. And, unlike me, superior at everything, some people just don’t have writing skills of the first order to dazzle the crowd with erudite, crowd-gathering BS .

        Pondering that many of those people are shy about expressing themselves, and deny the rest of us the benefit of what they could offer.

        And TTAG does provide another pressure valve, where people can just hate on everything for awhile. A pressure relief valve does have value.

        Aw, rats. My martini glass is in the dishwasher, and I’m a joker, I’m a smoker, I’m a midnight toker just ramblin’ on.

        (BTW…proud Boomer, here.)

        • When I was younger I always sort of wondered why Jesus saie that he reserves his harshest judgement not for those who are hot, nor those who are cold but for those who are what we’d call “fence sitters”.

          I ceased to wonder that somewhere around the start of 2019 and came to a much fuller understanding of it in 2020.

          People simply skipping something is totally fine. Sometimes the mood doesn’t strike one correctly, or there isn’t time or whatever. That’s fine.

          But to skip it and then reply to it with “TLDR” as though that some sort of valid criticism is really rather indicative of a pernicious sort of passive-aggressive mentality that is extremely unbecoming mixed with a short attention span about which the poster is unwittingly bragging. If you don’t want to read it, don’t read it but to then boast about having not read it is… well, not the win they seem to think it is. It’s also incredibly common. Which is sardonically amusing when it’s coming from people who complain about “kids these days”. It’s like “Brah, in 1900, 150 pages was an essay“.

          Brevity may be the soul of wit but what about this seems a joke to any of you? In a battle for the literal survival of your culture would you rather be clever in your humor or wise?

          I don’t expect everyone to have the same skills in writing or oratory but what I do expect is that, particularly among those old enough to understand it, is that people would recognize that their particular skill set can be put to great use if they’re simply willing to do it. For example, the simple ability to recognize propaganda regardless of source armors both that person and, by extension, those around them from the effects of that propaganda to a great degree. The vast majority of people can learn to do this. Perhaps you feel that you’re a single scale of armor when you do that, and in some ways we all are that scale. But, even as a single small scale, you still deflect arrows and contribute mightily to the overall piece of scalemail.

          The pressure release thing is fully understandable. I simply wish it was more, uh, targeted.

          Enjoy your gin, hopefully you prefer the good stuff.

  14. @strych9
    “Enjoy your gin, hopefully you prefer the good stuff.”

    Anyone know what the gin equivalent of MD 20/20 is? I gotta cut expenses.

    • Crystal Palace.

      ~$15/1.75L last I checked. Which tells you how inflation’s going. That bottle was <$10 when I was in college.

      A quarter shot in a rocks glass, double olives, topped to the brim with tonic and you'll still think it's gasoline and tonic.

      • And yes, btw, olives with tonic to try to cut the taste of the shit you poured in that glass.

        Foul doesn’t begin to describe it. Straight Everclear is a more sippable beverage.

        • “Straight Everclear is a more sippable beverage.”

          Everclear was fine, when I wore a younger man’s clothes. But now…..

      • “Crystal Palace. ~$15/1.75L”

        Way less than the $12/0.75L I have been paying for Gordons.


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