October 2023 Signals Swing In Gun Sales

posted on November 9, 2023
October Signals

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) estimates gun sales in October reversed a months-long decline by posting an 8 percent increase when compared to the same month in 2022. Total sales that resulted in the FBI processing a name through its National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) came in at roughly 1.3 million for the 31-day period. It was the 51st month in which more than a million law-abiding citizens exercised their Second Amendment rights.

The figures are a marked improvement over September’s numbers, when NSSF estimates roughly 1.14 million firearm sales resulted in a NICS check. That’s 8 percent less than last year.

August also suffered a drop, but a more significant one at 13.1 percent.

The Oct. 7 terrorist attack on Israel may have been one catalyst for the improvement. CNN, for example, reported on Nov. 6 that, “With threats against American Jews on the rise, many have begun seeking firearms training and purchasing weapons out of fear for the safety of their communities and families, according to interviews CNN has conducted with gun range operators, firearms instructors and Jews in the U.S. in recent days.”

A story aired by Atlanta’s Fox 5 TV noted the trend on Nov. 1—before the FBI even released its October NICS volume numbers. The reporter interviewed one new Jewish gun owner who admitted a firearm is the last thing he wants to own, but “I feel like I need to be ready to protect myself and protect my family.”

Similar stories and interviews appeared in major media outlets across the nation, including Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, New York City and others. Nearly every report notes an increased demand for training as well. There will also be an impact on an already tight commercial ammunition supply.

Every American should be diligent and prepared, according to comments made by FBI Director Christopher Wray. He told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee late last month that, “The reality is that the terrorism threat has been elevated throughout 2023, but the ongoing war in the Middle East has raised the threat of an attack against Americans in the United States to a whole other level.”


Josey Wales
Josey Wales

“I Reckon So”: The Guns Of “The Outlaw Josey Wales”

It was one of the most iconic Western films of all time, starring one of the most successful actor/directors of all time—and it immortalized one of the most historic handguns ever made. Today, they all live on in the wildly popular exhibit “Hollywood Guns.”

The Armed Citizen® March 4, 2024

Read today's "The Armed Citizen" entry for real stories of law-abiding citizens, past and present, who used their firearms to save lives.

Preview: ATI Monte Carlo Enfield Stock Set

Gone are the days when firearm enthusiasts routinely “sporterized” full-stocked military-surplus rifles such as the No. 1, Mk III Lee-Enfield, but many examples of previously cut-down and modified rifles can be found at bargain prices in gun shops across America.

European Countries See Rise In Firearm Training, Ownership

A trend gaining momentum after Russia’s unprovoked 2022 invasion of Ukraine made headlines this month when Finland announced it was establishing 300 additional public shooting ranges.

Preview: ROAM Adventure Co. 55L Rugged Case

The ROAM 55L Rugged Case provides adventure-bound firearm enthusiasts with a premium heavy-duty storage option.

Choosing .22 LR Match Ammunition: What You Need To Know

Looking to improve the accuracy of your cherished .22 LR? Simple: use match-grade ammunition. Before committing to a bulk-buy, though, read these tips, as not all competition-worthy ammunition is right for your rifle.


Get the best of American Rifleman delivered to your inbox.