Data from the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) indicate that firearm acquisitions set a new record during June, July and August, and are on track to finish the year higher than any year except 2013, when firearm acquisitions soared in reaction to President Obama’s push for gun control.
There were more than 2.6 million firearm acquisition-related checks during June through August 2015, a figure 100,000 higher than was achieved during the 2013 surge, and well above the figures for any other year since NICS’ inception in November 1998.
For the first eight months of 2015, January through August, the number of firearm acquisition-related checks was the second highest on record, at 7.7 million, well behind the 9.3 million tallied during the 2013 surge, but running 365,000 ahead of the number achieved last year.
In addition to checks conducted on customers at gun stores and FFL customers in other venues, other NICS checks are conducted for purposes of obtaining firearm purchase permits or carry permits, the latter of which in some states exempt the holders from redundant NICS checks when acquiring firearms.
NICS check numbers are not a precise measure of the number of firearms acquired, of course. They indicate only the number of checks conducted. However, viewed over time, they indicate that gun control supporters are off-base in claiming that firearm ownership is on the decline. To the contrary, the long-term trend in firearm ownership is indisputably on the rise.
Gun owners should never allow the anti-gun media to diminish their hope or expectations that our fundamental rights will be fought for and protected. Our numbers are growing and our resolve is unquestionable -- the misinformation of Michael Bloomberg, Barak Obama and the mainstream media notwithstanding.