Many people believed that President Trump would preside over an era of decreasing firearm sales…the so-called Trump Slump. Firearm sales dropped a little from their record levels in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election, with gun owners anticipating a Hillary Clinton presidency.
But a funny thing happened to the Gunmageddon. Sales didn’t drop that much. 2017 had the second highest ever yearly total of NICS checks. And 2018 is trending higher. In 2017, at the end of June, the year-to-date total NICS checks were 12.6 million. 2018 is on its way to becoming the second highest year on record. In 2016, the all time record year, they were 13.8 at the end of June.
In 2018, they increased from 2017 and are approaching the 2016 level. The number of checks by the end of June, 13.3 million, is 96% of the all-time record.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation has figured out how to adjust NICS checks for purchasing firearms from those used for other purposes.
The June 2018 NSSF-adjusted National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) figure of 892,479 is a decrease of 12.2 percent compared to the June 2017 NSSF-adjusted NICS figure of 1,016,213. For comparison, the unadjusted June 2018 FBI NICS figure 1,912,838 reflects a 1.3 percent increase from the unadjusted FBI NICS figure of 1,888,266 in June 2017.
The second quarter 2018 NSSF-adjusted National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) figure of 2,863,240 reflects a decrease of 8.1 percent compared to the 3,116,282 figure for second quarter 2017.
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.
We won’t know precisely how many of the NICS background checks are due to new firearms purchases until a year and a half from now. The BATFE doesn’t release manufacturer figures for at least a year after they are submitted.
FBI NICS background checks are used to purchase both used and new firearms. They are used to obtain concealed carry permits. They are used to renew concealed carry permits. They are being used, in some states, to check out gun store personnel or even teachers.
Historically, there are about .6 new firearms added to the national private stock for each NICS check.
If the .6 relationship between checks and new gun sales holds, about eight million new firearms have been added to the private stock in the first six months of 2018. That raises the number of private firearms in the United States to about 426 million firearms.
If the classic annual buying pattern prevails, the total number of private firearms added will be over 15 million in 2018. That would bring the total of private firearms in the United States to about 432 million by the end of the year.
©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.