Thursday, May 04, 2017

NICS Background Checks Rebounding in the Trump Era

The NICS checks for April, 2017 were 2,045,564.  That is the second highest number of NICS checks for any April. The highest was in 2016, with 2,145,865. The third highest April was in 2014, with 1,742,946.  Both of those were driven by fear of strong gun control measures that might be passed by President Obama. 

The Trump era of the National Instant Criminal Background  Check System  (NICS) checks has finished its first four months.

It was anticipated that firearm sales and NICS checks would drop with a Trump presidency. It has not happened as expected.

NICS checks remain unexpectedly strong under President Trump.  January 2017 NICS were 80% of January 2016 NICS.  February 2017 NICS were 85% of 2016 numbers. March of 2017 is very close to previous records. It is over 96% of the record set in 2016, and just short of 98% of March, 2014. April, 2017 checks are over 95% of those for 2016, and are more than 17% higher than the next highest April, in 2014.

The unwillingness to accept a Trump Presidency by the left, combined with fear that a Trump Presidency could be overthrown by a media coup, could be a motivation for higher firearm sales. The fear of violence from the Left, as shown in Berkley, Portland, the District of Columbia, and San Francisco.

Structural increases in the number of firearms owners may have increased the base level of sales.

There has been a gradual increase in the use of NICS for things other than firearm sales.  The increases are for such transactions as the sales of suppressors/silencer, gun carry permits, and even checks on school teachers. There are indications that the actual number of firearm sales have exceeded those of April, 2016.

Kentucky has contributed to the number by running NICS checks on every concealed carry permit holder every month. Kentucky performs nearly three million checks every year.

The average ratio, over 15 years, is a little less than .6 NICS checks for each firearm added to the private stock.

If that ratio holds true, over 5 million guns were added to the private stock in the first four months of 2017.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation has attempted to adjust for this by eliminating checks done for carry permits from the overall NICS checks. According to their calculations, the highest level of firearm sales in March occurred in 2013, with 2017 being the next highest.

It is clear that the expected drop in firearms sales has been minimal. Firearm sales may actually have risen compared to 2016.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch


James said...

Does anyone else remember the number of 200 million guns estimated to be in the United States about 20 years ago? If approximately 1 million guns a month are being added to the base stock, that means 240 million guns have been added to our national stash since then. Even if some of the guns rust out or break irreparably that is still a tremendously wonderful increase in the supply. It makes me feel so happy to think about it, and I thought I would share.

James said...

I heard there was 200 million guns in the US 20 years ago. If a million guns are sold per month that means 240 million have been added to our supply. Even with some attrition for rusted out and broken guns, that is a sweet idea to me when I think about it. Hooray for America.

James said...

Sorry if I double commented. I thought I hit a wrong button. I apologize.

Pumbaa said...

If NICS backgrounds checks were not mostly worthless, why can't I immediately buy a sound suppressor for my gun when I pass NICS?

Before I retired I was a Pharmacist. All I needed to purchase morphine was a government three part form. One copy went to the drug wholesaler, I kept one copy for my records, and one copy went to the feds. No waiting was necessary before I received the pharmaceutical. Why could something like this work to eliminate eight months waits to get approval to purchase restricted weapons?

Dean Weingarten said...


The estimate is now over 400 million guns in private hands in the United States.

James said...

So, then, it will take them a long time to go from house to house to house and confiscate all those guns. I wonder, can they confiscate them faster than we can obtain them?
My concern now is whether we have all the ammo we need. Of course I will never have all the guns and ammo that I want.

Anonymous said...

I bought a suppressor on line several years ago. since then I have been trying to find a way to get the barrel threaded to use it. any one have a half in 28 die nut? I have about a dozen guns it would fit on.