Chart done by David Scott
The November NICS background checks broke the record for the nineteenth month in a row. 2016 has become the year with the most gun sales ever. The 2016 NICS checks have surpassed those for 2015, the previous record holder. In December, 2016 there were 2,771,159 National Instant Checks done. In 2015, the number done in November was 3,314,594. December, after the November election of Donald Trump, slumped to only the third highest number of NICS checks in a month, the second highest being December, 2012, at the height of the Obama push for more infringements on the Second Amendment. There were 2,783,765 NICS done that month. It was the end of a 19 month streak of record breaking numbers at NICS.
In 2015, the total NICS checks for the year were 23,141,970 . In 2016, through they were 27,538,673. That is 4,396,703 more than the total for 2015.
2016 ended 19% ahead of the previous record set in 2015.
The common wisdom is that with the election of Donald Trump, the record breaking pace of NICS checks will slow. The price of gun manufacturing stocks has tumbled. But there are contrary indicators.
First, consumer confidence is soaring as we enter the Christmas season. Second, heightened gun sales have been reported for some minority groups. Third, many gun retailers have put product on sale, in anticipation of a drop in demand.
My prediction is that December will be a record breaking month, but not by a very large margin. The total NICS checks for 2016 will be between 28.8 and 29 million. That will be an amazing record.
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 are done for more than new firearms. They are done for used firearms as well. They are done 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 is 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 16.5 million guns added to the private stock in 2016. That would increase the total number to 404 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%, during the two terms of the Barack Obama presidency. The increase will likely be 96 million firearms. We will have to wait for 2018 to determine a more precise number.
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.
President Barack Obama became the record setting, all time champion, gun salesman. The total NICS checks were 253,217,165 by years end. That will be over 153 million firearms added to the private stock in the last 18 years. Over 37% of the private firearms stock will be less than 18 years old.
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.