April 21st, 2020

All-Time High in FBI Firearms NICS Checks in March 2020

NICS Gun Sales March FBI MSN firearm background checks
CLICK HERE to view full-screen NICS Chart.

Story based on Report by Dean Weingarten
The NICS numbers for March 2020 established new, all-time records for both the number of projected guns sales as well as the numbers of NICS background checks done in one month. In March 2020, 3,740,688 NICS checks were done, according to official FBI statistics.

The previous one-month NICS record was set in December of 2015, when 3,314,594 NICS background checks were done. In March of 2020, the FBI recorded 3,740,688 NICS background checks, 12% higher than the previous record. The number of NICS checks always exceeds that actual number of gun sales, because some checks are done for other purposes. The estimated number of recorded long gun, handgun, and other gun sales totaled 2,373,193 in March 2020, 7% higher than the previous sales record in December of 2015.

Guns Sales Driven by Pandemic Fears
According to MSN News, “With most of the nation in isolation to halt the spread of coronavirus … the FBI has seen a 41% increase in background checks compared to this time last year.”

Click Image to Go to MSN to Watch Video (then Click Speaker icon for audio).
NICS Gun Sales March FBI MSN firearm background checks

Most Background Checks Were for Handguns
In March 2020, most of the purchases were for handguns instead of long guns. The numbers for March were: Handguns, 1,392,677 NICS checks, long guns, 758,073 NICS checks, other (mostly receivers, which could be made into either handguns or long guns) 79,129, and multiple 57,328. Multiple checks are multiplied by 2.5 to approximate the number of gun sales.
NICS Gun Sales March FBI MSN firearm background checks
Carry Permit NICS Checks Rising Faster
Notably, there has been significant growth in the number of NICS checks associated with CCW Carry Permit applications. NICS checks for carry permits and carry permit rechecks have been increasing much faster than checks for firearm sales. While states maintain their own databases for Carry Permits, NICS checks are done in connection with permit applications and renewals.

NICS Gun Sales March FBI MSN firearm background checks

Total Guns in USA Close to 450,000,000
Using the figures available, there were about 430 million private firearms in the United States at the end of 2018. About 18.6 million have been added since then, putting the USA close to 450 million at this point. According to Dean Weingarten, the United States is on track to reach 500 million privately owned firearms by the end of 2024.

Permalink - Articles, Handguns, News No Comments »
September 21st, 2017

Gun Sales Stay Strong Even under Republican Administration

We all know that ammo prices have dropped and gunmakers are discounting handguns and rifles. But have gun sales really dropped that much since the 2016 Presidential election? Actually not. Recently released data from the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) show that gun sales remain at near-record levels.

The expected drop in firearms sales has been minimal. Sales are at historically high levels, only a little less than the records set in 2016. If the economy continues to pick up, 2017 will be the second highest year on record for NICS background checks. — Dean Weingarten

According to Dean Weigarten: “Firearm sales and NICS checks are having a good year. In 2017, the overall NICS checks are at 92% of the all-time record through August.” 2017 will probably surpass 2015 as the second-highest year for NICS checks since 1999, when the program started. (2016 was the highest year ever). And notably, the trend is up: NICS checks were 1,925,146 in August 2017. That beat the August 2016 number of 1,853,815, the previous high mark for the month.

Report by Dean Weingarten
The Trump era of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) checks has had eight months of high sales. The record for NICS checks was set in 2016, with over 27 million NICS checks for the year. 2015 was the second highest year for NICS checks with over 23 million checks done.

This chart reveals that the annual number of NICS Checks has more than doubled in the last decade!

Source: www.FBI.gov

The high number of NICS checks reflects an expanded base of firearms owners and shooters who are buying more guns under the expectation of a prosperous Trump Presidency. Gallup released a poll on September 8th, that shows U.S. investor optimism at a 17-year high….

Now is a Good Time to Buy — Especially AR Platform Rifles
There is a high inventory of firearms for sale, and many good quality AR-15 types can be had for under $500. Ammunition prices have been slowly dropping.

AR15 AR-15 sale cabelas discount

Growth of Concealed Carry by Americans Drives NICS Numbers
The number of people with carry licenses continues to soar. There are over 16.5 million. At the time of this report, the number has likely surpassed 17 million. Carry permit holders are 5-15% of voters in many states [such as] Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin. When a carry permit is obtained or renewed, another NICS check is done.

NICS checks are done for Federal Firearms License sales of used guns as well as new ones. The latest estimation of the ratio of NICS checks to the addition of private firearms stock is about 0.53 private firearms added for each NICS check done. If that ratio holds in 2017, about 8.6 million more firearms have been added to the private stock in 2017 thus far.

Concealed Carry Class training state NICS


©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

Permalink Handguns, News No Comments »
July 9th, 2016

Prices Drop as Supplies of .22 LR Ammo Increase

.22 LR Rimfire Ammo Sales Dean Weingarten
Photo ©2016 by Dean Weingarten.

Are we seeing an end to the “desperate days” for .22 LR rimfire ammo? Are supplies finally starting to catch up to demand? At least one industry analyst thinks so. Gun journalist Dean Weingarten has been watching trends. Makers of .22 LR ammo have increased production by 20%. That’s a good thing. We are starting to see the effects, Dean observes, with increased supplies and falling prices for rimfire ammo. Here is Dean’s report from Arizona.

Report by Dean Weingarten, GunWatch.com:

I chanced to be at the local WalMart in Yuma, Arizona today (July 8, 2016). This is the store on the frontage road off of old Highway 8, East of town. Until Friday, June 24, 2016, I had not seen any .22 Long Rifle in the store for three years.

On that date, there were 2,300 rounds of CCI Mini-Mags and 1,000 rounds of CCI Standard Velocity. The Mini-Mags were in plastic 100-round boxes at $7.47 a box. The Standard Velocity were in paper, 50-round boxes at $3.47 a box.

Just 10 days later, on the 3rd of July, I was in the same store, and there were 1900 rounds of CCI Stinger, in 50-round boxes. It is premium .22 Long Rifle ammunition, and has always been pricey. The price was $6.47 for a box of 50, or a little under 13 cents a round. They also had CCI .22 Maxi-Mag, .22 magnum rimfire cartridges, for $13.47 a box of 50, or nearly 27 cents a cartridge. It has been scarce, but not as bad as the .22 Long Rifle.

Two sightings in 10 days after three years was remarkable.

.22 LR Ammo for 5.36 Cents Per Round
Today, the 8th of July, there were two cases of bulk pack Federal .22 Auto Match. That is 6,500 .22 Long Rifle cartridges.This is only five days after the previous sighting. The boxes contained 325 cartridges. [The clerk] was just opening the cases to stock the shelves when I showed up. She said there had been a couple of bricks of .22, but they had been purchased immediately.

.22 LR Rimfire Ammo Sales Dean Weingarten
Photo ©2016 by Dean Weingarten.

At $17.42 for 325 rounds of Auto Match .22, that is 5.36 cents per round. A little over two years ago, I wrote that the .22 ammunition bubble would be over when you saw .22 LR ammunition on sale below 4 cents a round:

“You will know that the bubble is close to the bottom when you see .22 LR on sale for below 4 cents per round. At the lowest, we might see .22 LR cartridges below $10 for 500.” Read Article from 6/7/2014.

Many dismissed my prediction. They said that we would never see .22 cartridges below 4 cents a round again. People said that I was crazy when gasoline was at $4 a gallon, and I wrote that we would see it below $2 in the future. It went below $2 a few months ago.

The .22 ammunition bubble is hanging on. The push for more Second Amendment infringements by the Obama administration keeps it inflated. But with only six months to go to the end of that administration, the bubble has become fragile. The .22 ammunition manufacturers have increased production by 20%. That puts a lot of strain on the bubble.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten. Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to GunWatch.com.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News 10 Comments »
March 26th, 2016

U.S. Supreme Court Confirms Broad Scope of Second Amendment

Second Amendment gun rights supreme court scotus dean weingarten massachusetts stun gun

Commentary by Dean Weingarten, Gun Watch
In an historic, but extremely short unanimous opinion, the United States Supreme Court has confirmed that the Second Amendment applies “to all instruments that constitute bearable arms,”. As this is an enormous class of nearly all weapons, the decision [could be] applied to knives and clubs, and nearly all firearms that have been sold in the United States. Nearly all types of firearms are more common than stun guns. From nbcnews.com:

“But in an unsigned opinion, the U.S. Supreme Court [on 3/21/2016] vacated that ruling. It said the Massachusetts court improperly found that Second Amendment protection applies only to weapons that were in common use at the time of the nation’s founding.”

Referring to its landmark 2008 D.C. v. Heller ruling on handguns in the home, the justices said the Second Amendment applies “to all instruments that constitute bearable arms,” even those not in existence at the time of the founding.

The unsigned opinion is very short[.] Alito writes a much longer and more forceful opinion in concurrence. It could, and should, have gone much further. None the less, it is an enormous win for Second Amendment supporters, and it extends far beyond stun guns and Massachusetts.

There is strong language in this opinion. If 200,000 stun guns in the U.S. are “common”, it is hard to believe that 5 million AR-15s and millions of other semi-automatic rifles are “unusual”.

The case lays to rest the idea that courts can simply say anything other than handguns are “uncommon” or “unusual” and are therefore exempt from Second Amendment protections. This case will be cited far into the future.

The full, unanimous decision, along with Justice Alito’s lengthy concurrence, is found via this LINK:

14-10078 Caetano v. Massachusetts (PDF)

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included. Link to Gun Watch

(more…)

Permalink Handguns, News 4 Comments »