Background checks may not stop criminals from getting guns, but new data on the number of checks make the case that Americans are not as enthusiastic about gun control as President Barack Obama wants people to believe.
On Monday, the day before Obama announced a series of executive actions on gun control, the FBI reported that there were record-shattering numbers of background checks for firearm purchases and permits in the month of December and for the entire year of 2015.
A whopping 3.3 million firearm-related checks were conducted in December, the highest one-month tally in the history of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). That’s 43.5 percent more than in December 2014, when there were only 2.3 million. The record-shattering number came about after the White House announced that Obama would issue a series of executive actions on gun control this month. The previous one-month high, 2.8 million in December 2012, came about after Obama declared that gun control would be a top priority during his final term of office.
The current surge, while spiking in December, began earlier in the year. The monthly tallies for May-November 2015 were the highest on record for those months too. All told, 2015 had the highest number for a single year, 23.1 million, a 10 percent increase (that’s two million plus) over the annual totals for 2013 and 2014. The trend suggests that Americans’ opposition to Obama’s anti-gun agenda has increased to an all-time high, and would be even higher for Hillary Clinton’s even more ambitious anti-gun presidential campaign platform.
Handguns, the type of gun that most gun control supporters most would like to see banned, accounted for 57 percent of checks conducted for the purchase of a single type of firearm in 2015. In December, however, 58 percent were for long guns, presumably driven by the purchase of the immensely popular AR-15 and other detachable-magazine semi-automatic rifles, which gun control supporters call “assault weapons.” The new NICS numbers, taken in conjunction with firearm manufacturing, firearm importation, and firearm ownership survey data, suggest that Americans now own well over eight million AR-15s, and the number is growing at roughly a million a year.
The surge in firearm purchases suggests that gun control supporters cannot possibly believe their bogus claim that “40 percent” of firearms are sold without background checks. If the claim were true, it would mean that there were about 34 million guns sold in 2015, at which point Michael Bloomberg would have realized that it’s “game over for gun control,” time to turn out the lights at Everytown HQ and resume his busybody battle against soda pop.
One thing is certain, however. If firearm ownership continues to expand at its current rate, there really could be a day in the not too distant future when Bloomberg, Obama, Clinton and those who share their goals will have to wonder whether there is any point in continuing to indulge their anti-gun obsessions.