Saturday, August 11, 2018

Trump Era July NICS Continues Trend of 2018 as Second Highest Year on Record

The National Instant background Check System, NICS continues to record near record numbers for July of 2018. During the 2016 election cycle, the fear of a Hillary Clinton presidency pushed gun sales and, correspondingly, NICS background checks to an all time record high.

Many people thought the sales and NICS checks would tumble once President Trump was elected. But sales and NICS only fell back a small amount. 2017 was the second highest year on record for NICS checks.

Over half way through 2018, the 2018 NICS checks are trending higher than those in 2017. The July, 2018 NICS checks were 1,835,318. In 2017, at the end of July, the NICS checks to date were 14,343,658. In 2018, at the end of July, the NICS checks were 15,128,636.

In the all time record set in 2016, the NICS checks at the end of July were 16,026,660.  The 2018 number is 94% of record 2016 number, and the second highest for the period.

These near record NICS checks do not necessarily reflect near record gun sales.

More and more of NICS checks are being used for carry permits and carry permit renewals.  The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has been able to subtract out checks done for carry permits and carry permit re-checks. Using that information, checks done for firearm sales are down 9.5% from the 2017 figures.

The NSSF adjusted chart shows adjusted NICS checks for July close to the 2012 - 2014 levels.

The NICS checks have historically correlated one NICS check for about .6 firearms added to the private stock in the United States. NICS checks are done for sales of used firearms. One NICS check can be done for multiple firearms. In addition, in half the states, once a person receives a carry permit, the permit can serve in lieu of another NICS check for five years.

The number of carry permit holders in the United States is currently over 16 million people. This can be seen in the rising number of permit checks and permit re-checks done on the NICS system. But many of those permit holders do not have to use the NICS system for more gun purchases.

If the .6 number holds, the number of guns added to the private stock in July will be about 1.1 million. That would bring the total private stock to about 427 million firearms.  If the trend continues, there will be about 432 million firearms in the United States private stock by the end of the year.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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