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Fear & Loading: Gun Purchases Up Last Month

Fear & Loading: Gun Purchases Up Last Month

Firearm sales last month—compared to January 2018—were up according to Small Arms Analytics & Forecasting (SAAF). Total volume processed through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) was roughly 130,000 more than January, 2018, but that figure includes a sizeable and growing volume of carry permits and other administrative tasks performed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

“Small Arms Analytics & Forecasting (SAAF) estimates January 2019 firearm sales at 1,039,187 units, a year-over-year increase of 3.7% from January 2018,” SAAF stated in a press release [PDF]. “Likely single handgun sales (567,965) increased year-over-year by 2.5% and single long-gun sales (382,094) increased year-over-year by 2.4%. All other likely firearms sales (89,128) increased year-over-year by 19.9%. This includes so-called ‘multiple’ sales, where the allocation between handguns and long-guns cannot be determined from the data record.”

“With the exception of January 2016, likely U.S. firearm sales in January have been fairly constant at one million units for the past six years,” SAAF Chief Economist Jurgen Brauer said. “We expect firearm sales for all of 2019 to come in at about 13.5 million units.”

As for 2018 totals, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) estimated that sales were down 6.1 percent when compared to 2017. The trade association estimates a total of 13.1 million were sold last year. Although Brauer’s buoying estimate for 2019 arrived after NSSF’s annual Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show—which took place last month in Las Vegas, Nev.,—business was brisk and most attendees already felt an improvement was on the horizon.

The disappearance of at least 65 guns, sans firing pins per show floor regulations, and parts wasn’t enough to dampen spirits, either, although Remington, Advanced Armament, LKCI, Blaser USA and Legacy Sports International are probably breathing a sigh of relief this week after the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive recovered most of the items—thanks to a firearm owner’s tip. He or she alerted law enforcement after an obviously inexperienced gun buyer inquired about purchasing AR firing pins, and a pair of individuals were charged this week. Both show floor forklift operators have been released on their own recognizance.

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