Fear & Loading: Firearm Sales Showing Interesting Trends

by
posted on December 6, 2018
nics_nssf_ibncsdvk_1118-nssf-nics-graphs-2-small.jpg

A continuation of a “new norm” in gun sales below last year’s totals is reflected in November’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) figures—which don’t necessarily reflect a gun purchase with each one processed—but some unusual trends also developed. Small Arms Analytics & Forecasting’s (SAAF) Chief Economist Jurgen Brauer commented in a press release that, “… despite the year-over-year decline, November sales actually were uncommonly strong in that the increase from October to November is the second-largest observed over the past six years.”

In addition, the number of times multiple guns were processed—representing the purchase of at least two firearms—came in at 38,028. That’s the second highest ever for a single month, trailing only 2012’s December total of 38,438. The SAAF press release noted: “This category of sales has seen strong gains throughout the year and it would be helpful to market analysts if in the future the FBI were to release more detailed information.”

Overall volume, however, remains at a pace that may see 2018 claim third-place honors for annual sales, trailing 2016 and 2017, respectively. As for November, after the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) adjusted for concealed-carry permits and administrative use of the system the final, “… figure of 1,314,193 is a decrease of 9.8 percent compared to the November 2017 NSSF-adjusted NICS figure of 1,457,103.” SAAF’s calculations were a little brighter. It “… estimates November 2018 firearm sales at 1,404,729 units, a year-over-year decline of 9.3% from November 2017. Likely single handgun sales (643,229) fell year-over-year by 14.3% and single long-gun sales (627,323) fell year-over-year by 10.5%.”

Total—unadjusted—NICS checks processed by the FBI as of Dec. 1 currently stand at 23,638,551, ahead of the 23,141,970 2015 total. Last month’s Black Friday’s NICS checks seem to confirm the trend, coming in fourth place for 24-hour periods, behind the last three years.

Latest

Real Avid Bore Max
Real Avid Bore Max

Preview: Real Avid Bore-Max Speed Clean System

Real Avid introduces a new set of bore brushes, jags and jag patches, aimed at simplifying the process of cleaning out barrels with fewer passes needed.

American Arms of the Battle of the Bulge

American G.I.s thwarted Hitler’s last-ditch offensive, even though Hitler threw the best men and weapons that he had available against America's troops in the Ardennes. Here the author looks at the small arms used by our troops to stop the Nazi war machine dead in its tracks.

Heckler & Koch P7: H&K's 'Squeeze-Cocking' Pistol

First designed in 1976, Heckler & Koch's P7 gas-delayed blowback pistol stand out from most all other handguns with its unique squeeze-cocking mechanism.

M1903A4 Development: The U.S. Army’s Search for a Sniper Rifle

Despite the lessons learned during World War I, the U.S. Army lacked a purpose-built sniper rifle throughout the interwar period, even after efforts were made to develop one. The need became more apparent as World War II loomed, leading to the adoption of the M1903A4, with its developmental history explored here.

The Rock Island Arsenal Model of 1903

Although the names “Springfield” and “’03” are virtually synonymous, that gives short shrift to the other
government facility that made the venerable “U.S. Rifle, Caliber .30, Model of 1903”—The Rock Island Arsenal.

NRA Gun of the Week: Hi-Point Firearms C9

On this week’s “Gun of the Week” video preview, American Rifleman staff examines a budget-friendly semi-automatic pistol from Hi-Point Firearms.

Interests



Get the best of American Rifleman delivered to your inbox.