Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

NICS Data Suggest Gun Sales Still Strong in 2014

Friday, August 22, 2014

Guns are durable goods, and Americans have bought more than 100 million brand new guns during the last 15 years, on top of the 200 million they already had. Thus, when assessing the strength of gun ownership in the United States, it probably doesn’t matter very much whether Americans bought slightly more or fewer guns this year than they did last year or the year before. To paraphrase a quote often attributed to the late U.S. Sen. Everett Dirksen, “100 million here and 100 million there, and by and by you’re talking about a lot of guns.”

Nevertheless, after the annual number of firearm purchases reached an atypically high level in 2013, in response to anti-gun legislation being pushed in Congress and some states, they appear to have returned to about 2012 levels. The media love a good headline, of course, so this year, on the basis of merely a 2013-2014 trend, Fortune.com has said Americans are buying fewer guns, money.cnn.com has exaggerated that gun sales are “plunging,” and BloombergBusinessweek.com has made the ludicrous statement, “Gun Fans Stop Buying.”

Fortune.com even went so far as to suggest that Americans are buying fewer guns in 2014 than in 2013 because they now support gun control. “The once high-selling gun industry may be facing a comedown as incidents of gun violence have soared this year,” the website said, notwithstanding the fact that there is no evidence that "gun violence" has "soared."

The media are basing their claims about firearm purchase trends on trends in the number of background checks conducted through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). Firearm manufacturing and importation statistics are much better indicators of firearm purchase trends, but they’re reported 2-3 years after-the-fact. NICS data—though they don’t measure firearm purchasing trends as accurately—are updated by the FBI on a monthly basis, and are therefore more useful to the media.

Notwithstanding media assessments of NICS data, what the data really suggest is that firearm purchases increased gradually from 2003 to 2009, and at a more accelerated rate from 2010 into 2013, even with nation’s economy in a slump from late 2008 until the present.

In 2014, based upon the first seven months of data, it would appear that the number of NICS checks would end up about the same this year as in 2012.

However, the number of checks in December 2012—when President Obama opened his campaign for gun control—was extraordinarily high. As for December 2014’s tally, time will tell.

Notably, in almost half the states, a carry permit exempts its holder from going through a NICS check to acquire a firearm, and the number of carry permits has been increasing. Carry and purchase permit-related check data are not included in the above charts. Given the current push to incrementally morph the NICS system into a registry of gun sales, beginning with so-called “universal check” legislation, one might surmise that gun owners are increasingly obtaining and using carry permits for the purpose of NICS exemption, in the interest of privacy. Note that the chart below reflects purchase permit and new and renewal carry permit checks.

All told, Americans appear to be buying guns at a much stronger pace than only a few years ago. To paraphrase Mark Twain, gun control supporters’ rumors about the demise of gun ownership are greatly exaggerated.

TRENDING NOW
Washington: Another Year – Another Extreme Gun Ban!

Friday, January 14, 2022

Washington: Another Year – Another Extreme Gun Ban!

The legislature only just gaveled in this week and anti-gun legislators and gun control groups couldn’t wait to reintroduce their extreme gun ban legislation - an "assault weapons" ban, Senate Bill 5217.

Washington:  The Hits Keep on Coming as Magazine Ban Pulled to the Senate Floor

Friday, January 14, 2022

Washington: The Hits Keep on Coming as Magazine Ban Pulled to the Senate Floor

On Friday, the Washington Senate pulled magazine ban legislation, Senate Bill 5078 to the Senate Floor where it is eligible for a vote for passage.

What You Need to Know about ATF’s New eForms System

News  

Monday, January 10, 2022

What You Need to Know about ATF’s New eForms System

On December 23, ATF launched a new system for applicants to complete various forms that ATF is responsible for administrating. For most gun owners, this change will primarily impact how applications for firearms regulated under ...

Indiana: House Passes Lawful Carry, Sends To Senate

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Indiana: House Passes Lawful Carry, Sends To Senate

Yesterday, the House voted 64-29 to pass House Bill 1077, the lawful carry bill. It will now go to the Senate for further consideration.

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

Canada, Six Months from “Confiscation Day”

News  

Monday, November 8, 2021

Canada, Six Months from “Confiscation Day”

In early 2020, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced his so-called “assault weapon” ban along with a temporary amnesty period that allows the owners of newly-banned firearms to possess their property without incurring criminal liability. Canadians affected ...

Wisconsin: Senate Committee Passes Constitutional Carry

Friday, January 14, 2022

Wisconsin: Senate Committee Passes Constitutional Carry

Yesterday, the Senate Committee on Insurance, Licensing and Forestry voted to pass Senate Bill 619, the constitutional carry bill. It is now eligible for floor debate in the full Senate.

Anti-Gun Provisions Dropped from House-Passed NDAA

News  

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Anti-Gun Provisions Dropped from House-Passed NDAA

Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a revised version of the FY22 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the annual defense bill that directs funding for our nation’s military. The two anti-gun provisions that were included ...

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Monday, June 30, 2014

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

Georgia: 2022 Legislative Session Convenes Today

Monday, January 10, 2022

Georgia: 2022 Legislative Session Convenes Today

Today, January 10th, the Georgia Legislature begins the 2022 legislative session. Last week, Governor Brian Kemp announced his support for constitutional carry. Currently, 21 states allow law-abiding adults to carry a concealed handgun for self-defense without having to ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.