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.