Donald Trump and revolver (courtesy
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Press Release: Fairfax, VA – -( We, like many of our members, watched the NICS numbers all year. We read – and fact-checked – all of the claims about the “Trump Slump” and the imminent collapse of the entire firearms industry (see herehereherehere, and here).Month after month, the narrative around the NICS data framed gun sales as waning because a new record wasn’t set . . .

Bloomberg headlined its latest entry, “Gun Sales in America Drop.” The Chicago Tribune reported that “Holiday gun sales dip after record Black Friday.”

The FBI released the final NICS numbers for 2017.

There were 25,235,215 total NICS checks in 2017 – making last year the second busiest year ever for the NICS office.

Across all states, territories, and the District of Columbia, there were 7.2 million NICS checks related to handguns (not including private sales, rentals, returned, pre-pawn, or pawn redemption checks); 5.2 million for long guns; just under 400,000 for “other” firearms; and 236,167 checks for multiple purchases. More than 9.9 million Americans initiated a NICS check for a permit last year.

In terms of individual categories of NICS checks, 2017 ranks third for handgun-related NICS checks and second for “other” checks. In terms of total sales-related checks (handgun, long gun, other, and multiple), 2017 was the fourth-busiest year ever. It was also the second busiest year for permit checks.

Interest in defense and the shooting sports clearly remains strong; sure, NICS doesn’t provide a 1:1 proxy for gun sales but the FBI saw more than 13 million sales-related checks and almost 10 million permit checks. That equates to more than twenty-seven thousand permit checks and nearly thirty-six thousand sales-related checks every single day of the year.

Hopefully, we can put the claims of “Trump Slump” and of the demise of the firearms industry to rest along with the year 2017. The continued strong NICS numbers all year indicate that Americans’ interest in defending themselves and their families, and their interest in the shooting sports, is not dependent on the occupant of the White House. We fully expect the firearms industry to continue to support the passions shared by millions of law-abiding Americans throughout 2018.

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the “lobbying” arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Visit:

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    • Predator drone? Stinger missile. If you need to shoot one down, you’ve got a big problem – and it’s gonna get bigger.
      Your pervert neighbor’s quadcopter? Any duck or goose load. Shame on you for having a good looking daughter.

  1. Wow, yet another blow to the credibility of the NRA.
    Anything sells at a price. Inventories are extremely high, prices are way down. All the major companies are noting a loss in revenue over the previous banner years. Everyone that goes to a gun store sees fewer people in there than they did in the previous years.
    Once you lie to me, I know I can’t trust you.

    • This narrative about there being no “Trump Slump” makes ZERO sense. Just walk into a gun shop, and ask ’em how sales have been. How do sales compare to last year?

      Or if you REALLY want to know — try selling a gun to them. I tried to sell a Ruger LCR with under 100 rounds, they wouldn’t give me even $150 for it. They absolutely did not want or need any more stock. They were, however, very happy to sell me a new gun, and even price-matched the Internet, happily. They were thrilled to be selling ANYTHING.

      Trump Slump is real, and it’s hurting dealers. But if you do want to buy something, you can probably get a killer deal.

      Whatever the hell the NICS numbers mean, I cannot say. But they are most certainly not portraying an accurate picture of what’s happening out there with resellers.

    • It’s certainly not a Trump slump for gun BUYERS! And that’s what I am, so I’m not complaining in the least bit. After Newtown I didn’t buy a single round of ammo or new gun until the bubble burst recently. Now I’m buying like a madman and laughing my way to the bank. Next panic I’ll do the same.

      • Same here. I stocked up on roughly a 5-year supply of various ammo before Obama’s 2012 reelection. About 20,000 rounds (or so). I didn’t have to buy a single round in 2013-2014. Even though I did, where the price was right.

  2. I think the one thing that has seriously slumped is AR15’s. I see them going begging everywhere right now, you can hardly give them away now let alone sell them

  3. My store sold more guns in 2017 than in 2016 and margins were still strong. If gun stores are hurting, then they must be doing something wrong.

    The only area where I’ve seen precipitous price drops is ammo. Prices have come way down since the post-Sandy Hook insanity, but they are still higher than they were pre-Sandy Hook.

    • Exactly, except that handgun sales are way down, prices are way down, brand new Sig P226’s going for $550.

      And long gun sales are way down.

      And ammo sales are way down.

      Now my favorite LGS has seen increased sales, mainly because there were 6 locals in 2016, and 2 by the end of 2017. Plus we have Buds and KyGunCo within an hours drive, that and online pricing has decimated access via LGS.

  4. The Commercial market peaked in 2014. It declined slightly in 2015 and 2016. The Commercial market in 2017 was dead. The brief internet run the last 90 days due to the California panic was irrelevant. It was the greatest depression in the industry since 1995 after the Republicans took the House in the 1994 election. Anyone who does not think so is not involved in the sales of firearms and ammunition and knows nothing about the industry. And I am sitting on 30,000,000 rds. of Federal/CCI/Speer/Remington/PMC/Wolf and I move a lot of weapons and I sell coast to coast and we have been in business at the same location for approx. 88 years so we have just a little bit of perspective. Thomas J. Morris III Eagle Point Gun/T.J.Morris & Son

    • Be awesome if you could write something up for TTAG. I keep reading about amazing sales but I have certainly not seen it. When AR-15’s come free floated with a 15” hand guard it is not seller’s market.

    • “Anyone who does not think so is not involved in the sales of firearms and ammunition and knows nothing about the industry.”

      I usually just blow off people who back up their points with boorish, know-it-all insults this.

      • The situation is as I stated. My comment that you refer to was phrased as such in an attempt to be kind albeit blunt. No one in the US sells more Federal/CCI/Speer LE ammo domestically than I do and I know my business. I know the Commercial Market as well. Commercial only distributors are selling below cost to get out from under their inventory just to pay their bills. It will be interesting to see who is left at the end of 2018 which proposes to be no better than 2017. Google me if you never heard of us. Everyone in the industry got beaten to a pulp last year compared to 2014 and it affected everyone from Mark DeYoung (formerly) at Vista to the guy working out of his basement.

  5. I’m doing my bit for gun sales. It’s not just guns that are on deep discount…I got a “smart” TV for next to nothing and those Black Friday prices continue. The gun shops I frequent are busy-maybe not Obama busy but lots of new shooters mostly coming from Illinois…

  6. Hmm… hammer cocked and finger on the trigger. One doesn’t need to be a “genius” to know that is wrong.

  7. Looking at NICS checks to gauge firearms sales is like looking at certain consumer prices to gauge inflation. It doesn’t tell you what they really are.

  8. Bitch Bitch Bitch . . .
    First it was Obama that was going to kill the gun industry.
    Then it was Hillary that was going to kill the gun industry.
    Now it is Trump that is going to kill the gun industry.

    What a bunch of whiners.

    Youall need to call a WAAAmbulance


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