Thursday, May 12, 2022

NICS for April, 2022 Continues Trend: Third Highest on Record

 Lines are from 2021. Bars are from 2022.

The National Instant background Check System (NICS) numbers and gun sales for April of 2022 are in. They reveal a consistent trend of gun sales which are the third highest for the month on record. 

In April about 1.31 million more private firearms were added to the private stock in the United States. The previous records for April were in 2021 with 1.67 million sold; 2020, with 1.65 million sold, and in third place, 2016 with 1.07 million sold.

2022 is now in the third place position.

It appears there is a "new normal" of gun sales resulting from large numbers of new gun owners and a continuing confluence of instability in multiple sectors of people's lives. 

There is instability in the political process. About half the population believes the 2020 election was stolen or "rigged". The convincing documentary of 2000 Mules by Dinesh D'Sousa provides evidence for that view.  President Biden's approval ratings are very low.

There is instability in the economy. Inflation is rampant. Gasoline prices are at near record highs; small businesses are in tatters after the disastrous Covid19 lockdown policies. 

There is instability in foreign affairs. The hot Russia - Ukraine war continues with a furious pace of casualties and destruction of physical plant. The war seems to serve no useful purpose, except the fight for survival and national ego. 

There is instability in information and a severe lack of trust in information. The information war in Ukraine is in full swing, with both sides and outside influencers continually spinning and creating disinformation. 

Information is a weapon in war. It is to be expected all sides are attempting to maximize it for their benefit. Trust in media in the United States may be at an all time low. It is difficult to tell how it compares to trust during the Civil war or during the early republic. 

There is instability in domestic affairs. Crime levels have shot up to highs last seen 30 years ago, particularly in urban centers.  There are mass internal movements as populations flee the instability.

When there is instability, people desire more control over their lives. A primary means of control is the availability of firearms to protect themselves, their families, their property, and their neighborhoods. 

In more succinct and classic terms:

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

While the demand for firearms is still high, it has dropped a few percent. Ammunition continues to be priced above the levels in 2019, but is becoming more available. Firearms are more available and firearm prices are trending lower.

Knowing how many gun owners there are in the United States is very difficult. Survey numbers vary significantly. It appears approximately 15 - 18 million new gun owners were created in the last three years. Reasonable numbers of gun owners in the United States could vary from 100 million to 130 million. It is impossible to know with certainty. During times of instability, gun owners are less likely to expose themselves to perceived risk by acknowledging they are gun owners.

If the current trend continues, there will be about 15 million guns sold through the NICS system in 2022, resulting in about 494 million guns in private hands in the United States by the end of 2022. The half of a billion mark will almost certainly be passed in 2023. 

©2022 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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