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Gun control advocates are busy repeating the mantra “more guns, less people.” In other words, they believe gun buyers are a shrinking demographic. To be fair, I’m not as tall as I once was and I’ve bought more than my fair share of firearms in the last few years. Provided you consider “more than twenty” doing my bit for the gun control crowd. Where was I? Oh yes, the National Shooting Sports Federation. Every month, the industry lobby group tallies-up the number of background checks run by gun dealers using (as they must) the FBI’s The National Instant Criminal Background Check System, uh, system. The NSSF adjusts the NICS numbers to weed-out checks run for concealed carry weapons permits et voila! This March’s numbers beat last March’s numbers by 20 percent. Make the jump for more detailed stats and disclaimer . . .

“The March 2012 NSSF-adjusted National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) figure of 1,189,152 is an increase of20.0 percent over the NSSF-adjusted NICS figure of 990,840 in March 2011. For comparison, the unadjusted March 2012 NICS figure of 1,715,125 reflects a 19.3 percent increase from the unadjusted NICS figure of 1,437,709 in March 2011.

This marks the 22nd straight month that NSSF-adjusted NICS figures have increased when compared to the same period the previous year.

The adjusted NICS data were derived by subtracting out NICS purpose code permit checks used by several states such as Kentucky, Iowa and Michigan for CCW permit application checks as well as checks on active CCW permit databases.

Though not a direct correlation to firearms sales, the NSSF-adjusted NICS data provide a more accurate picture of current market conditions. In addition to other purposes, NICS is used to check transactions of firearms sales and transfers on new and used handguns and long guns.”


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  1. 20% up on unprecedented sales from the past few years is quite the achievement. Sales are remaining strong.

    I wonder what difference, if any, we would see if Santorum was the frontrunner in the GOP election instead of Mittens? (non-gun-banner vs gun-banner instead of gun banner vs gun banner)

  2. i know my most recent acquisition contributed to this. i wonder how many sales Joe Biden’s comments of face the nation inspired?

    • I fear most people changed the channel to watch the more interesting replay of hot 2009 Davis Cup matchplay on the tennis channel. Or Bass Pro Outdoors. Or something. Clever of the President. Not once in three years has Biden done anything but open his mouth, change feet, and disappear. No glory hog he.

  3. I can’t base it on anything but my own perceptions but I think this second wave is more new and first time gun buyers. The first wave in ’08-’09 was more existing gun owners feathering their nest with additional guns and ammo. With all the media attention the past three years on guns, non-shooters are getting in on the craze. Gun shows on Discovery and the History Channel are as mainstream as Mythbusters. That would not have been possible 10 years ago.

    Recent rhetoric by self-proclaimed “civil rights leaders” might also be a contributor. If I didn’t own any guns, and I had heard some of what I’ve heard the past few weeks, I’m pretty sure I would decide that now is the time.

  4. Don’t buy gold and silver , buy a new gun and more ammo the value goes up and the dollar keeps going down, and you can always use it or trade for more… I have a G.I. M1 carbine I got years ago for $20.00 today that gun goes for $600.00 plus and still shoots great….

    • I went to the range(a large one) today and boy if i were not early , i would have to wait in line to get to shoot, both pistol and Rifle were packed full with lots people in line to get a shooting bench, old , young, woman, teens, and middle age too… and this was a Monday the off day…. went to local gun shop could not get a place to park was packed too, had to wait and get parking spot … tells me people don’t like how things are going………

  5. Might this also be contributed to the unemployment rate dropping a little? The Feds are feeling stronger about the economy. Not saying it is perfect, but there are reports of consumer spending on the rise as well.
    It is good all around if we see an increase in new gun ownership. If the ranges get more business, and FFL dealers are gaining more business it is good for everyone.
    A descent gun isn’t cheep so maybe folks either have a little extra cash to spend or they are saving up and finally pulling the trigger, no pun intended on the purchase.

  6. “In other words, gun buyers are a shrinking demographic.” If only! Honestly, though, it’s going to take a lot of will power to cut out the inverted corn syrup sodas, double cheeseburgers, super-sized fries, extra spicy pit-roasted barbecue, and un-lite beer. But shrink we must, otherwise we will indeed become less numerous. Ask your physician. Hell, ask your wife. To become more numerous we must consider, many of us, shrinking. It’s plain as a Slick Willie answer to a sly deposition question. It’s all about what the meaning of ‘is’ is. We isn’t shrinking fast enough.

  7. They’re not first-time buyers. I don’t know if I’d call it a mantra, but just look around and see how many guys who already own guns are buying more of them compared to the first-timer.

    • As opposed to say hard data? And it must be very difficult to look around and gather anecdotal evidence on American gun buying habits from Italy. Just sayin’ . . .

    • Anecdotal: On my last trip to a local gun show in January the place was packed. What was noteworthy was how all age brackets were well represented. A notable number of handgun purchasers had to be first time buyers because they appeared to be just barely old enough to legally make a purchase. I also have to include as ‘first-time’ buyers the large numbers of parents shopping with their children and obviously buying long guns appropriate for children (both boys and girls).

  8. Not only am I seeing more people at gun stores, I’m seeing new gun stores that weren’t there 5 years ago. Big gun stores, with large inventories and doing very good business.

  9. NICS is not accurate. I have 8 guns 4 of them hand guns. I found a hand gun that I liked and went to purchase it. I had purchased the others without a problem because I am a person who follows the law. Oregon State Police have 3 entries to put in NICS. First name, Last name and date of birth. WOW what a surprise there is a Mexican out there named Jorge Martinez with my DOB that has a criminal record. They do not verify Middle name or SSN. In my opinion these are LAZY GOVERNMENT WORKERS. At this point my rights have been violated as a law abiding citizen.

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