In the continuing trend for gun sales measured by the National Instant background Check System, (NICS), September 2020 was the second highest in the history of NICS, coming in behind last years record number of about 1.61 million. September of 2021 had about 1.31 million gun sales recorded.
In 2019 the gun sales were less than a million, about 974 thousand guns sold in September.
The number of gun sales traditionally picks up in September as hunting seasons are opening and approaching. This probably accounts for the converging numbers of handgun and long gun sales.
Handgun sales were about 681 thousand, long gun sales were 515 thousand. There were about 57 thousand “other” sales. “Other” can be anything from an unassembled receiver which could be made into either a handgun or a long gun, or a generic “firearm” such as the Mossberg Shockwave
. There were about 24 thousand sales with multiple firearms on one form.
In the formulation to estimate total sales, this correspondent assumes 2.5 firearms per multiple sale.
Uncertainty in the world, in the federal government, concerns about the ongoing COVID19 pandemic and lack of trust in governmental institutions all are likely contributing to the ongoing demand for firearms in the United States of America.
The United States stands out, with the Second Amendment, as one of very few countries where the right to keep and bear arms has not been denigrated and emasculated to a mere privilige, doled out to those who the local government trusts and is willing to allow to be armed.
Even 35 years ago, it was simple and relatively easy for Australians and Canadians to obtain rifles and shotguns, with almost no restrictions. The same could be said for Costa Rica and Switzerland. Politicians in England started distrusting their people after World War I, fearing a Bolshevic style revolution. The contagion spread to the rest of the world.
With the first three quarters of 2021 in the bag, the trend is for 19 million gun sales to be recorded in the NICS system by the end of the year. That would mean about 481 million private firearms in the United States, up from about 308 million private firearms at the start of President Obama’s first term in 2009.
The limitations on sales in the United States appear to be limitations imposed by industrial capacity to produce arms and ammunition, rather than by demand. Prices continue to be high, with few arms sold below retail.
Ammunition may be the most critical factor. It is much easier to start manufacturing firearms than to start a major ammunition manufacturing plant. Ammunition is not difficult to make a few rounds at a time in a home workshop; it is much harder to make safely in a mass manufacturing plant which can compete, even at today’s inflated prices.
If a person cannot find ammunition available, they very likely will delay purchasing a firearm. As Rudyard Kipling wrote
Of what use is a gun unfed?
Record numbers of Americans fear a second Civil War. Record numbers consider a break-up of the United States a possibility.
With those scenarios in mind, the record number of guns being sold in the last two years are easily understandable.
©2021 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.
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