Proving that delusional thinking is the key to anti-gun agit-prop, gun control advocates have been busy claiming that the U.S. firearms industry is in decline. That’s a bit like saying that men under 30 recognize FLBP as an acronym for the Forest Lands Beautification Program. I don’t think so. With the economy tanking and Obama looking like a two-termer, the firearms industry is on fire. The evidence is everywhere (including here at TTAG). For example . . .
Despite buying an earnings boat anchor that they can’t seem to throw overboard, Smith & Wesson’s earnings and stock price are way up. In case you missed it, money.msn.com headlines the news “Strong gun sales propel Smith & Wesson.”
Smith & Wesson reported a profit of $4.4 million, or 7 cents per share, for the three months ended Jan. 31. Analysts were expecting only 4 cents a share. The company is back in the black after reporting a loss of $52.8 million, or 88 cents per share, a year ago. That year-ago loss was due in part to the plunging value of the perimeter-security systems business the company is now trying to sell.
Revenue for the quarter was also a surprise, coming in at $98.1 million as firearm sales soared. Wall Street was expecting revenue of around $95 million.
And what about firearm sales in Illinois (of all places)? Ladies and gentlemen, we have the data. First, a quick data parsing edu-moment from the hive mind at wikipedia.org, explaining another, less sexy acronym: FOID.
FOID is an acronym for Firearm Owners Identification. To legally possess or purchase firearms or ammunition, residents of the state of Illinois are required to have a FOID card. (The term is alternatively pronounced “a foid card” or “an F.O.I.D. card”.) The law has been in effect since 1968.
The FOID card is issued by the Illinois State Police, who first perform a check of the applicant on the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), an electronic database maintained by the FBI.
OK, so first the number of FOID cards issued by the Powers That Be in Illinois:
2009 – 326,008 cards
2010 – 287,552 cards
2011 – 321,467 cards
And now, here’s the wiki411 on the other important sales-related acronym from Illinois: FTIP
Illinois law requires that, when a firearm is sold by a Federal Firearms License (FFL) holder or at a gun show, the seller perform a dial-up inquiry to the State Police to verify that the buyer’s FOID card is valid. This additional check is known as the Firearm Transfer Inquiry Program (FTIP). At the time of the inquiry, the police perform an automated search of several criminal and mental health databases, including the federal NICS database.
Keep in mind that the FTIP data below does NOT include checks run for concealed carry permits—if for no other reason that Illinois is the only state in these here United that doesn’t understand the simple fact that “bear” means “carry.” In other words, The Land of Lincoln doesn’t issue concealed carry licenses to civilians.
2010 – 229,444
2011 – 275,841
These are big numbers. And there’s no indication that they are falling off the edge of a cliff. So where do gun control advocates get the idea that gun sales are down and going lower? The same place they get the idea that gun control is the key to reducing gun violence: their own fevered imagination.