Saturday, April 11, 2020

Guns Sales and NICS Background Checks Break all Records in March 2020

The NICS numbers for March, 2020, established new, all time records for both the number of projected sales as well as the numbers of NICS background checks done in one month.

The previous record for one month was set in December of 2015. In December of 2015, there were 3,314,594 NICS background checks done. The number of recorded long gun, handgun, other and multiple x (2.5) were recorded as 2,213,121 firearm, as a good approximation.

In March of 2020, the NICS background checks done were 3,709,562. That is an increase of 12% more than the record set in December of 2015.

The approximation of firearm sales for March of 2020 was 2,373,193. Thas is an increase in sales of 7% more than the previous record in December of 2015.

It has been noted before that NICS checks for carry permits and carry permit rechecks have been increasing much faster than checks for firearm sales.

The NICS sales figures are nearly twice as many as were recorded in March of 2019. In March of 2019, the total sales were 1,213,027. The increase from March of 2019 was 96%.

The Trump Slump has become the Trump Bump. Gun stores had customers lined up to purchase what was available. Pawn shops were nearly emptied of guns.

The AK clone pictured came into the store a few hours before the picture was taken in late March, 2020
Large numbers of voters (most people who are not allowed to vote are not allowed to purchase firearms) decided, in a crises, they would rather have a firearm and not need it, than need a firearm and not have it.

Several publications around the nation reported that large numbers of people purchasing guns in March were people who did not have guns.

As seen in the chart, most of the purchases were for handguns instead of long guns.

The numbers for March were: Handguns, 1,392,677 NICS checks, long guns, 758,073 NICS checks, other (mostly recievers, which could be made into either handguns or long guns) 79,129 and multiple 57,328. Multiple checks are multiplied by 2.5 to approximate the number of gun sales.

Americans, when faced with emergency declarations, the potential of loss of jobs, and numerous places releasing prisoners, decided it was better to be armed than unarmed.  Support for restrictions on gun ownership has been pushed by the media. The popular support is shallow, as long as it applies to other people. That support is greatly diminished when the population decides they might need a firearm of their own.

The NICS system backed up. There were waits of several hours to get through. For many places, the automatic approval in three days went into effect.

It is unknown how many firearms were sold to people with carry permits. At last count, 24 states have systems in place where a carry permit is an acceptable substitute for a NICS check, because the NICS check has already been done on the carry permit. There are variations according to each state.

Those states are, according to the ATF, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming.

In California, only the Entertainment Firearms Permit is acceptable to bypass the NICS check.

Using the figures available, there were about 430 million private firearms in the United States at the end of 2018. About 18.6 million have been added since then, just short of 450 million at this point.

The United States is on track to reach 500 million privately owned firearms by the end of 2024.

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

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Anonymous said...

Not Michigan anymore since they legalized marijuana. ATF revoked the NICS exemption since the State would issue a carry permit to marijuana users.

Dean Weingarten said...

Thank you for the correction.

In Michigan, only licenses to purchase a pistol are considered valid substitutes for NICS background checks.