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Whether it’s the prospect of a Clinton presidency, a number of high visibility terrorist attacks or concealed carry liberalization, 2016 is on track to become the year with the most gun sales in the history of the United States. September has maintained the blistering sales pace from August.


2016 NICS checks are far ahead of those for 2015, the previous record-holding year.

In 2015, the FBI ran 23,141,970 NICS checks. This September, the FBI conducted 1,992,219 checks, racking-up 19,872,694 checks for 2016 so far. That puts 2016 some 27.3 percent ahead of where 2015 was at this time last year. If this pace continues, the Feds will have performed 29.5 million background checks for the year.

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 cover more than new firearm sales. They’re also performed for used firearms, and 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. (In most states, once a person has a carry permit, further NICS checks are not required to purchase a firearm.)

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’ss easy to see how one manufacturer would like to know exactly how many guns of certain models and calibers their competitors are selling.

Given the NICS numbers, there will probably be 18 million guns added to the private stock in 2016. That would increase the total number to 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 percent, during the two terms of the Barack Obama presidency.

To reach that number there will need to be 10 million more NICs checks done in 2016 from, 1 October to 31 December.  In 2015, 7.53 million NICS checks were done in that period.

Many indicators show 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 President Barack Obama would be the record setting, all-time champion gun salesman?

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included. Link to Gun Watch

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    • I weep for what the term liberal has become. It should be libertarian in essence.

      Anywho, I also laughed. It’s a tasty little phrase.

      • I don’t use the term Liberal the way that people who call themselves Liberal use it.
        I call them Progressive, Statist, Leftist, or Extremist, but never Liberal. They don’t usually object to Progressive, but the other three seem to bother them.

        • Want to see some fireworks and exploding heads? Call them what they truly are, authoritarians or fascist.

        • Yep. Use “liberal” in its correct context every chance you get. The people who call themselves progressive liberals today are actually regressive totalitarians.

        • Statist is the best description because it does not have to apply to anything but their view of governments role in relation to the general population of a given society . A Statist can be Liberal , Progressive , Digressive , left or right and in some cases , even conservative if they believe that it is the State that implements the rules . Most of the founders , not all of coarse , envisioned a Constitutional Republic , governed by the citizenry with diversity of free States where Federal Senators from each State , chosen by the freely elected representatives of each State , would only be summoned to a central body for short periods of time to see to the general welfare of all States for trade and or war . A Statist is one who behaves as though this vision can not prevail and works against it .

  1. According to the anti’s there is nothing to see here. This surge is being purely driven by super gun owners.

    • Super gun owner looking to upgrade to super duper eventually.


      On the high end they say that a “super owner” has an average of 94 guns. Can anyone tell me anyone they know or for that matter have seen on Youtube they would think have 94 guns?

      • One of Sara Tipton’s articles had a photo of their gun room. They had around 20 Mosins. Assuming proportionality in their collection, 20 Mosins probably means that the overall collection is somewhere in the 94 ballpark.

  2. Well, my CPL license was renewed this year, my wife got one, I’m getting a Utah permit, and we’ve bought 3 guns thus far, with possibly 2 or 3 to go by end of the year.

    Just doin’ our part, I guess.

  3. “If this pace continues, the Feds will have performed 29.5 million background checks for the year.”

    NICS checks are unconstitutional! But there’s not a damn thing we can do about it in the near future so what the hell…let’s shoot (pun intended) for a round 30 million!

  4. My wife and I have done our part this year.

    However, my next purchase will likely be a 6.5 Grendel upper which will be shipped directly to my door, flying under the radar, so to speak. Sorry to disappoint.

  5. I hope all these guns purchased result in a defeat of the hildebeast. Far too many idiots have a disconnect when it comes to the 2nd…(Obama(oops Hillary) ain’t takin’ my guns!) I’m adding to the # too… we’ll see.

  6. This number is waaaayyyyy lower than the actual number. CCP in our state are not run when buying. Add “gunshow” loop holes and private sales etc. And the numbers are much,much higher.

    • I doubt it. Since it’s the total of submittals, it’s including things like permit checks and some private sales (like in WA). These actions don’t add to the gun market, and it likely a wash.

      “Gun sales” is a quick and dirty moniker that is irrelevant. The number(s) that matter are the number of new guns sold (new circulation) vs. guns retired (destroyed) and number of new gun owners.

  7. If Clinton is elected, gun manufacturers might run so hot that they start running out of polymer and steel.

  8. It’s important to realize that the US population has also grown by nearly 20% during Obama’s presidency. If the amount of guns per capita had remained exactly the same, one would expect the amount of guns in the country to grow by the same amount.

    So, you’re really only looking at an additional 12% or so on top of the expected growth due to population increase. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still an impressive number, but people keep throwing around these numbers like they are astronomical, when they really aren’t.

    Compare that to something like the NFA industry, which has experienced double digit growth year over year and probably 200%-300% this year alone due to 41F.

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