Thursday, March 12, 2020

February 2020 NICS Firearm Sales are at High Levels, Low Prices

The National Instant background Check System (NICS) checks for February, 2020, have broken all the previous records for the month, with 2,776,380 checks.  This signifies very little, because more than half of the NICS checks are for carry permits and carry permit rechecks.

Illinois and Kentucky perform hundreds of thousands of permit rechecks every month, skewing the system, which renders the total number useless for estimating gun sales.

Instead of total NICS checks, we now calculate a much closer approximation of total gun sales, consisting of NICS checks done for handguns + checks for longguns + checks for other guns + 2.5 x checks done for multiple sales on the 4473 form.

Handguns + Longuns + Others + 2.5xMulti = 1,244,177 firearm sales recorded in NICS in February of 2020.

Last year, in 2019, the numbers were handguns (601,381), Longuns (355,744), Other (43,426) and Multiple x 2.5 (59,705) total gun sales of 1,060,255.

February 2020 sales were up  17% from last year.

February 2020 sales are slightly higher then the number in 2018 (1,228,888).

The February 2020 numbers are less than 14% below the all time record set in  February of 2016, of 1,413,828, which was extraordinarily high for February, one of the top ever months in NICS history.

In February of 2016, the numbers were: handguns (848,213) Long Guns (468,229) Other (25,533) and 2.5 x Multiple (71,853).

It is not difficult to find several factors for the high levels of guns sales in February, 2020. The economy is booming (pun intended). High levels of advanced manufacturing, with a high level of competetion, has pushed gun prices to historically low levels in constant dollars, while maintaining high levels of functional, if not esthetic, quality.

It has never been cheaper, in terms of hours worked, to acquire such high levels of function for such little work.

People can purchase a new AR-15 clone for about the same price they could purchase a M1 carbine surplus, in constant dollars, after WWII, in 1965.

The price then, by Hunters Lodge, in the April issue of the American Rifleman, was $59.95, $79.95 for "very good" condition. The rifle included two 15 round magazines, with additional magazines of $1 each.

$1 in 1965 is $8.19 in 2020, after calculating for inflation. A very good carbine, surplus, in 1965  sold for the constant dollar equivalent of  $655 today.
There are many AR-15 clones available for far less than that new, with warranties. They are more powerful, more accurate, just as reliable, and easier to mount optics on and customize. There many more aftermarket accessories available.

Image from, cropped by Dean Weingarten

Low prices, a hot economy, and severe political threats by the  Democrat candidates for President, and Democrat legislatures in Virginia, Washington State, California, Maryland, and New York, have created a perfect caldron of ingredients to combine into strong firearm sales.

The only thing holding down sales is the Donald Trump Presidency and his Supreme Court appointment of originalist and textualist judges.

People are waiting to see with the NYSR&PA v. NYC decision due this spring, before they panic.

That decision will give a measure of the sense of the Supreme Court on restoring Second Amendment rights and removing the ever increasing infringements tolerated by the appeals courts in some states.

President Trump is making great noises about protecting the Second Amendment, but the bump stock regulation has many Second Amendment supporters nervous.

Legislation to address the many infringements which have been baked into Federal regulations over the last 85 years, will not be passed with the Democrats in charge of the House.

©2020 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch


Anonymous said...

I carried an M-16 for a year in Vietnam. Personally I prefer my M-1 Carbine over the M-16. Night fire with the M-16 and tracers will explain why. At 400 yards the M-16 tracers are extremely unstable and hit no where near the target. I have taken dear with open sights at over 500 yards with my M-1 Carbine. Much better accuracy better Ballistics. The M-16 bullet is to fast to lite and VERY UNSTABLE. in my opinion bump stocks turns the m-16 to trash. No one is firing for accuracy on full auto. Every round counts or should full auto is wasted ammo. How much ammo can you carry. He who runs out of ammo first looses. I have heard that dead is no fun.

Anonymous said...

This comment is off topic but I need to say it some where. define Quarantine? Isolate, separate stop possible infection. I have heard at times there are a million people traveling by air on any given day. A quarantine delayed is no quarantine at all. It has already been determined that viruses contaminate surfaces and the air we breathe. the standard comment is wash your hands frequently, why because we touch things every minute. touching any surface transmits the virus if that surface is contaminated. So government has quarantined people what about the products in cargo ships. Cargo has surfaces that may have been contaminated at their origin. Many products are created by assembly of parts from other places. where could the surfaces have been contaminated, this factory or that factory, in transit from one factory to another. Yet commerce must flow, Why? I prefer to address a problem directly. I could care less if a business is not permitted to sell contaminated products from other counties. If the government is going to enforce a quarantine then make it a quarantine that is effective. I was in the health care industry for 20 years I know well the required sterile technique and decontamination. I also know that the CDC has made many errors in the theories it has published about Viruses. I know the CDC told us AIDs died after a few minutes on any surface. well a test was done using Ethylene oxide gas sterilization on AIDs contaminated equipment and placed in storage for two years and in a plastic bag. after two years that piece of equipment was tested, cultured for evidence of the AIDS virus and it was alive and well after two years and gas sterilization. the CDC did not spend a penny on real research for ten years and when the research started all of the CDC theories were proven wrong. AIDS was proven to be a man made bio weapon. I suspect the same to be true of the corona virus and many others. I believe the man made bio weapons are age group specific. I'm not a researcher, I just have 20 years of experience treating illnesses. I do know how some of these bio weapons are made. And I can tell you one computer terminal can be used to design them. anatomy and physiology study is very interesting to some, required in health care. You really do need to be able to tell the boys from the girls but there is a lot more to it. Age group specific has to do with the ups and downs of what each age group enzyme levels are. thus allowing age group targeting. Physical changes naturally occur at different ages. an enzyme may be high in one group and low in another. the level can be used either way. We are told the corona virus attacks older people. Age group specific over 50. RSV under two years of age. are we in a bio weapon war?