Chart by David Scott
We do not know precisely how many private guns were added the stock in the United States under President G. W. Bush compared to those added under President Barack Obama. We will not know the precise number until a year from now, when the BATFE releases the information. But we have a pretty good substitute. The number of National Instant Background Check System checks, or NICS, is highly correlated to the number of private guns sold.
I have been writing about NICS and the correlation with gun sales for a while. The numbers that were found in an article that compared the number of NICS under Bush to those under Obama were surprising. From mrctv.org:
According to data from the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System, widely considered to be the best metric in measuring firearms purchases in the United States, gun sales soared 60 percent under Obama's eight year stint in office compared to the number of firearms sold during President George W. Bush’s two-term presidency.I could not find a way to torture the data to come up with the 60% figure that was quoted by mrctv. Look at the numbers comparing the two eight year presidencies. If you consider the years 2001-2008 as the years of the Bush administration, there were 77,410,008 background checks under the National Instant Check System.
I realize that much of the buying in 2008 was in anticipation of the Obama administration, but to be scrupulous, President Bush was still in office. For a clean comparison, I chose 2001-2008 for Bush, and 2009-2016 for Obama. Total NICS from 2009 through 2016 were 157,233,157. That is a 103% increase during the Obama years.
The error is shown later in the article. The author says there were 94.8 million background checks during the Bush years, ending in 2008.
I can see how that error was made. You have to include all the background checks made before President Bush was in office in his totals. Include all the numbers from 1998-2008, instead of his actual 8 years in office, 2001-2008. With with an extra two years and two months in Bush's figures, you can say that the numbers of NICS under President Obama only increased 60%.
In the real world, the number of NICS under President Obama more than doubled the number of NICS under President Bush. It is quite an achievement, one that President Obama can be proud of.
©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.