Wednesday, September 08, 2021

NICS: Gun Sales for August, 2021 Second Highest on Record

In August of 2021, National Instant Background Check System (NICS) and the associated gun sales are at high levels, but not as high as the record sales in 2020. The August sales of 2021 are the second highest on record, as were the July sales in 2021. 

This may indicate a new normal of consistently high gun sales, below the record setting levels of 2020. 

There were about 1.29 million gun sales recorded by NICS this past August. In 2020, the gun sales were about 1.67 million. The next highest August was in 2016, with about 1.17 million gun sales. 

These consistently high gun sales in 2020 may come from political unrest, lack of faith in the electoral system, and millions of new gun owners. In 2020, estimates of new gun owners varied between 4 and 8 million. This correspondent has not seen any surveys showing a percentage of new gun owners for 2021. There have been about 12.5 million firearm sales through federally licensed dealers in 2021 by the end of August. There were about 13.5 million sales by the end of August in 2020.

Since the election of President Obama in 2012, about 168 million guns have been added to the privately owned stockpile in the United States. Nearly all of those guns are not registered. Only a few states require registration of guns.

Most of the approximately 476 million guns in private hands in the United States are unregistered and untraceable.

The estimate of guns sold is uncertain because not all sales go through the NICS system. About 10 million people with carry permits may purchase guns through federal dealers without going through the NICS system, because they already went through the NICS to obtain their carry permit. The  10 million is an estimate, because half of the states have this system. There are more than 20 million people in the United States with carry permits.  One person may purchase several guns with one NICS check.

There were about 2.70 million NICS checks in August of 2021. Most of those were for permit checks and rechecks. Illinois and Kentucky run multiple rechecks of carry permits each month. This skews the system with more than twice as many NICS checks as there are firearm sales.

A general shortage of ammunition may account for the slight slackening of gun sales. Demand has outstripped production. President Biden has placed a ban on future imports of guns and ammunition from Russia, which may re-inflate the ammunition bubble.

Ammunition manufacturers all around the world are running at high levels, attempting to meet the demand. There were signs of a deflating ammunition bubble before the fiasco in Afghanistan and the Biden ban on Russian importation.

The times are uncertain. A rising power (China) threatens world stability. The leadership of the dominant power (the USA) seems feckless, hesitant, and incompetent, unwilling to offend the rising power. There are substantial reports of family corruption in the Presidential family.

This correspondent does not see a significant reduction in demand for ammunition or firearms in the near future.

As gun sales rise the number of people with carry permits soar, and the number of gun owners increase, support for and exercise of Second Amendment rights continues to rise. 

The number of people who want restrictions on gun ownership, sales, and usage is shrinking.

 ©2021 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

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