Every month, the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check (NICS) reports the number of requests processed. This number is considered by many to be an accurate gauge of firearm sales, as many states require a criminal background check before a legal gun sale can be recorded.
While this doesn’t account for personal transactions or those that are completed outside of the legal requirements, this also tracks those individuals who are applying for a carry permit and requesting renewal of their licenses.
For the first portion of 2019, these checks are at an unprecedented high, making you wonder if this rise in gun-related activity is due to the ongoing concern that the Second Amendment rights of Americans are continually being restricted.
Both the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) and the Sporting Arms Analytics & Forecasting team calculate that gun sales are up at least 0.8 – 1.0 percent for 2019 above numbers for the previous year. While there is a slight discrepancy between the two, this can be attributed to the ways that the information is gathered.
Determining the exact quantity of guns that change hands on an annual basis is a cloudy business, as rules vary by state and even municipality. Long-gun sales are thought to be slightly down, while handgun sales are offsetting that amount and even increased slightly over the 12-month period.
The conversation around gun restrictions is heating up across the country, making it an interesting correlation between the number and type of restrictions that are being applied and the need for Americans to protect themselves and their families. What’s even more interesting is that sales of peripheral — or upgrade — items are up quite significantly from the year before: more than 11% according to some sources.
Nancy Bacon, vice president of Southwick Associates noted in a recent study: “For the categories tracked, the average sale increased 20 percent in 2018 versus the previous year.” That means consumers are stocking up on items such as ammunition, black powder and other categories of firearm peripherals.
There was a massive rush towards the end of the Obama administration to purchase firearms, and these Trump-era numbers are still modest in comparison. That trend shows that Americans still mostly trust their President to protect their rights, but are still concerned about the challenges that the country faces today from individuals that are making poor decisions with weapons. March showed the largest bump in firearm sales, in direct correlation to the introduction of several laws that will restrict the usage of firearms.
While it’s not surprising that the liberal lawmakers and mainstream media are attempting to impact the rights of Americans to protect themselves, it’s vital that gun lovers continue to maintain legal usage of their weapons. Experts estimate that there will be more than half a billion privately owned firearms by 2024 if the current rates continue.
You never know when laws will be changed that will make it more difficult to obtain the weapons that you rightfully should be able to access, so it makes sense that individuals are taking steps to arm themselves appropriately — and proactively.