March 2022 Gun Sales Increase Over February

by
posted on April 21, 2022
NICS Background Check spreadsheet list graph numbers

The FBI processed 3,081,724 NICS background checks in March—up more than 1/2 million from February. After subtracting other administrative uses of the system, which includes processing of carry permits and their rechecks, Small Arms Analytics & Forecasting (SAAF) estimates roughly 1.8 million firearms sold during the month. The figure represents a decline of more than 18 percent compared to March 2021, but it is significantly above pre-pandemic levels for the 31-day reporting period.

“The usual seasonal pattern recurred, in which March sales are higher than those of February which, in turn, are higher than those of January,” noted SAAF Chief Economist Jurgen Brauer. “While the year-over-year decline in March 2022 was a large percentage (-18.4), the absolute number of units sold nonetheless exceeded the pre-pandemic March 2019 number by about 400,000 units, so in that sense at least, the firearms market remains rather robust.”

The biggest decline was in handgun sales. They were down 20 percent, while long guns dropped 16.7 percent.

Brauer also noted that newly available information from BATFE indicates firearm production from 1986 to 2020 in the United States has moved significantly away from the New England region. More are being made in the West North Central and South Atlantic areas of the country than before.

In addition, data released by the U.S. Treasury allowed Brauer to calculate overall industry growth based on Firearms and Ammunition Excise Tax returns. The tax is imposed at the point of release of firearms and ammunition, essentially paid by manufacturers and importers into the wholesale, retail and end-user chain. With a 10-percent tax levied on handguns and 11 on long guns, he estimated the industry grew 44 percent from 2019 to 2020. For the period between 2020 to 2021 the figure was a 26-percent improvement. The numbers should be considered a relative gauge, however, and with some firearm transactions tax-exempt or tax free underestimate industry growth.

Latest

Colt Gold Cup National Match pistol 1911 .45 acp remote camera man shooting indoors GIF
Colt Gold Cup National Match pistol 1911 .45 acp remote camera man shooting indoors GIF

Rifleman Review: Colt Gold Cup National Match M1911

Colt is the brand that's traditionally associated with the M1911, and in this Rifleman Review, we look at how they're paying homage to the classic design with the Gold Cup National Match model.

New For 2024: Springfield Armory 1911 DS Prodigy Coyote Brown

Springfield Armory now offers several models of its 1911 DS Prodigy with a coyote-brown finish.

Rifleman Q&A: Savage Navy Revolvers

Q. Recently, at auction, I bought a “Savage Navy Revolver,” something I have wanted for a long time. It’s in good order and is a solid brute of a thing, but apart from the “Savage R.F.A. Co. Middleton, CT” stamp on the barrel...

The Viability Of The Vertical Foregrip

Learn the benefits of the vertical foregrip (VFG) and how this inexpensive upgrade can transform your tactical marksmanship skills.

New For 2024: Smith & Wesson Bodyguard 2.0

Smith & Wesson upgraded its semi-automatic Bodyguard handgun with an all-new 2.0 model in 2024.

Blaser USA And MidwayUSA Foundation Team Up To Give Back

Held at Joshua Creek Ranch in Boerne, Texas, Blaser USA and MidwayUSA Foundation paired recently to host a training event with proceeds benefiting youth shooting sports.

Interests



Get the best of American Rifleman delivered to your inbox.