February 4th, 2019

Top Gun States — Trends in Gun Ownership Around the USA

state background checks gun ownership

Where in the USA are guns most popular, on a per-capita basis? Look at this chart. The states with darker purple have the most background checks per capita. The Top 10, in order, are:

1. Kentucky – 1012
2. Illinois – 198
3. Indiana – 123
4. West Virginia – 119
5. Idaho – 109
6. Montana – 101
7. Minnesota – 98
8. South Dakota – 94
9. Tennesse – 92 (Tie)
10. Wyoming – 92 (Tie)

Kentucky has a far higher number than any other state — 1012 per 1000 residents, and 4,508,298 overall per year. That’s not because the Bluegrass State has more avid gun owners (per capita) than elsewhere in the country. Rather, Kentucky has more background checks per capita because it is the only state that requires all concealed carry permit holders to undergo automatic monthly rechecks. That means 12 checks per year. Other states might have a single background check when the firearm is acquired.

state background checks gun ownership

Trends in Background Checks and Gun Ownership
The total number of background checks has risen steadily for nearly the past 20 years (though there was a slight decrease in 2017). In 2018, Federal Firearms License (FFL) dealers initiated more than 23 million background checks, with significant variations in how many requests came in from each state.

state background checks gun ownership

Gun Control Legislation on the Rise Nationwide
In 2018, the 50 U.S. states passed 69 new gun control measures. Those 69 new laws are more than three times the number passed in 2017.

The struggle between gun rights and gun control continues on both a state and a national level. Seeing this wave of new legislation makes one wonder, “how many of these new laws will really reduce crime or enhance personal safety?” Or, rather, are the vast majority of these laws merely intended to restrict the rights of law-abiding citizens, banning new classes of arms or creating new costs (and hassles) for gun owners. The anti-gunners’ strategy is to work incrementally, banning one type of firearm after another. The goal, ultimately, is to ban handguns altogether, and to ban all semi-automatic rifles.

Information in this report provided by YourLocalSecurity.com.

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January 6th, 2018

Gun Sales Strong in Year One of Trump Era

2017 Gun Sales Trump Dean Weingarten FBI statistics

By Dean Weingarten, GunWatch Blog
The first year of the Trump era National Instant Check System (NICS) has ended with the second highest number of NICS background checks on record. There were 2,586,138 NICS checks in December of 2017. There were 25,235,215 NICS checks for all of 2017. At the current 56 firearms per 100 checks ratio, we can expect that over 14 million firearms have been added to the private stock in 2017*. The number of private firearms in the U.S. is now approximately 418 million.

That is a drop of 9% from 2016 to 2017, but it is 9% higher than 2015. The only year to surpass 2017 was 2016, with 27,538,673, when Hillary Clinton was widely considered a shoo-in to be the next president. The next highest year was 2015, with 23,141,970. December 2017’s numbers alone were the fourth highest December on record, behind 2012, 2015, and 2016.

Prices Drop for Guns and Ammo
The reduction from the overheated firearms market that existed in 2016 is significant. NICS checks dropped by 9 percent. With that drop, prices of guns and ammunition have also dropped. And supply has increased — .22 LR ammunition is being seen on shelves where it had been mostly absent for four years. Bargain prices for modern sporting rifles such as AR-15 clones and good quality pistols have kept the overall numbers from dropping further.

It is a buyer’s market now for Guns and Ammo. Vendors are offering big discounts on Black Rifles such as the Savage MSR line.
2017 Gun Sales Trump Dean Weingarten FBI statistics

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


*In a year and a month or two, we will know just how many firearms were added to the private stock in 2017. The ATF is not allowed to release the actual manufacture, import and export numbers for a year, by law. Note — there is NOT a 1:1 correspondence between NICS checks and gun sales. About 100 NICS checks are done for each 56 new firearms that are added to the private stock in the United States.

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November 26th, 2017

Black Friday Gun Sales — New Record for NICS Checks

Black Friday Gun Sales NICS

Make no mistake — Americans still love guns. On “Black Friday”, November 24, 2017, a record number of guns were sold. Based on FBI National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) data, a new single-day record was set for gun transactions in the USA. More background checks were recorded on Friday, November 24th, 2017 than on any day in American history.

USA Today reported: “The FBI was flooded Friday with more than 200,000 background check requests for gun purchases, setting a new single day record, the Bureau reported Saturday. In all, the FBI fielded 203,086 requests on Black Friday, up from the previous single-day highs of 185,713 last year and 185,345 in 2015. The two previous records also were recorded on Black Friday.”

Black Friday 2017 Was Biggest Single Day Ever for U.S. Gun Sales
Thanks to attractive promotions from many vendors such as Brownells and Cabela’s, all types of firearms flew off the shelves last week. The FBI, which administers NICS, reports that NICS processed 203,086 transactions on November 24, 2017, making the day the highest Black Friday ever and the highest day in NICS history. The highest previous day was November 25, 2016 with 185,713 background checks.

The FireArm Blog notes: “This record-setting day comes [despite] a slowdown in gun sales on the heels of the surprise 2016 election results. It seems likely that overall demand for guns continues to be strong, but that in the absence of any imminent gun legislation buyers have more patience to wait for sales like those offered on Black Friday.”

Background Checks Vs. Actual Sales
NICS statistics represent the number of firearm background checks initiated through the NICS. They do not represent the number of firearms sold. Based on varying state laws and purchase scenarios, a one-to-one correlation cannot be made between a firearm background check and a firearm sale.

NICS FBI background checks gun sales

Fast and Furious — FBI Processes Three NICS Checks Per Second
On Black Friday 2017, NICS Background Check processing topped Black Friday 2016 when the previous single-day record of FBI-processed gun transactions was set. In fact, so many Americans lined up to purchase firearms on Black Friday 2017 that the FBI was processing three background checks every second. Think about that — three gun transactions per second. That’s triple the typical NICS daily rate.

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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.

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July 5th, 2017

Gun Industry Trends Revealed in Shooting Industry Magazine

Shooting Industry Magazine July 2017 NICS sales trends top manufacturers

The data-packed July issue of Shooting Industry magazine reveals key gun industry metrics — such as background checks, financial results from publicly-traded gun-makers, and the latest U.S. firearms manufacturing production data. The annual U.S. Firearms Today Report presents a comprehensive review of gun industry activity, including data on firearm production by caliber, shifts in export/import totals and the top 25 U.S. firearm manufacturers from 2015 (the latest data available).

CLICK HERE for July 2017 Shooting Industry Digital Edition »

As indicated by the ATF’s 2015 Annual Firearms Manufacturing and Export, the industry rebounded across several categories after a challenging 2014. Total firearms production increased from 8,692,461 in 2014 to 8,911,530 in 2015, growth of 2.5 percent. For the eighth year in a row, Ruger was the top overall U.S. firearms manufacturer with 1,667,820 firearms produced in 2015, while Smith & Wesson and Remington were the leading handgun and long-gun manufacturers, respectively. One notable trend is that Savage Arms significantly increased its production output compared to other leading rifle-makers.

Here are the top three rifle makers in 2015 with percentage change from 2014:

• Remington: 774,180 (-16.7%) | Ruger: 662,444 (-6.2%) | Savage Arms: 381,695 (+24.8%)

Shooting Industry Magazine July 2017 NICS sales trends top manufacturers

Gun Sales Trends in 2017 Compared to 2015
The Firearms Today Report reports that, contrary to some perceptions, gun sales remain strong: “Comparing the first five months of 2017 to 2015 (which was the second-largest year for U.S. firearms manufacturing), the industry is performing well. NICS background checks increased by 6.7 percent (from 5,427,494 to 5,793,571) from January through May 2017 compared to the corresponding months in 2015.”

The lastest issue of Shooting Industry (and all 2017 and 2016 monthly issues) can be accessed in their entirety online at www.shootingindustry.com/digital-version. CLICK HERE for July 2017 Digital Edition.

Story Lead from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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December 3rd, 2016

Black Friday 2016 — Most Gun Sales in One Day in U.S. History

FBI Background Check
Photo courtesy BullocksGuns.com, Flint, MI.

More guns were sold on November 25, 2016 (Black Friday), than on any other day in the history of the United States (based on NICS numbers). According to the NRA Blog: “On Black Friday 2016, the FBI processed 185,713 background checks through their National Instant Criminal Background Check System, breaking last year’s record by about 400 checks. Leading up to November’s Presidential election, gun retailers nationwide reported record sales in the month of October.”

In fact 2016 has been a record-breaking year for U.S. gun sales so far. It looks like, if gun sales continue at the current pace, more guns will have been sold in 2016 than in any other year in American history. The question remains, will gun sales remain high with a Republican in the White House?

The continuing record-setting volume of gun sales after the November election surprised some experts, who opined that the Republican election victory would ease concerns about future gun control. Such fears certainly drove gun sales in the first three quarters of 2016 as most “experts” predicted that Hillary Clinton would be the next President, and that she would push for restrictive gun laws.

FBI Background Check

Fast and Furious — FBI Processes Three NICS Checks Per Second
On Black Friday 2016, NICS Background Check processing topped Black Friday 2015 when the previous single-day record of FBI-processed gun transactions was set. In fact, so many Americans lined up to purchase firearms on Black Friday 2016 that the FBI was processing three background checks every second.

Think about that — three gun sales per second. That’s triple the normal rate of gun sales. The website The Blaze reported: “The typical Black Friday boom in gun sales doubles the number of background checks handled by the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), from one per second on an average day to two per second.” On Friday afternoon November 25th, that figure had reached three checks per second.

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November 3rd, 2016

2016 Shaping Up as Record-Setting Year for Gun Sales

NICS Gun Sales Obama gun purchases background checks

By all indications, Americans are buying more guns than ever before. Some pundits have joked that President Obama is the “greatest gun salesman in history”. Looking at NICS (FBI instant check) records, Dean Weingarten of the Gun Watch Blog concludes that 2016 will see new records set, likely surpassing 2015 as the year with the highest number of gun sales ever. CLICK Link to Gun Watch.

Weingarten writes:

The private firearm stock in the United States will have increased by nearly 100 million firearms, or 30%, during the two terms of the Barack Obama presidency.

Many indicators show a soaring and diverse level of gun ownership. Carry permits are burgeoning, approaching 15 million and more. Gun ownership among women and minorities is at an all-time high.

This October continued the record-breaking pace to establish 2016 as the year with the most gun sales ever. The 2016 NICS checks are far ahead of those for 2015, the previous record holder. In October 2016 there were 2,333,539 National Instant Checks done. In 2015, the NICS done in October were 1,976,759.

In 2015, the total NICS checks for the year were 23,141,970. In 2016, through October, they were 22,206,233. That is less than 1 million below the total for 2015, with the two biggest months in 2016 yet to happen. Last year there were 17,584,346 by the end of October.

NICS Gun Sales Obama gun purchases background checks
A record number of NICS Checks may take place in 2016. Photo: Benton Co. Gunworks.

The numbers are 26.3% ahead of where 2015 was at this time. If this pace continues, 2016 will end up with 29.2 million background checks for the year.

Given the NICS numbers, there will probably be 17 to 18 million guns added to the private stock in 2016. That would increase the total number to over 400 million private firearms in the United States.

Who would have thought that President Obama would be the record-setting, all time champion, gun salesman? The total NICS checks will reach over 250 million by years end. That will be over 150 million firearms added to the private stock in the last 18 years (there are 0.6 sales per check on average). Over 37% of the private firearms stock will be less than 18 years old.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

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June 24th, 2016

More Guns, Less Crime — The Numbers Prove It

Gun Control FACTS Chart

Amidst the hue and cry (and Congressional sit-ins) calling for more gun control, few observers have actually looked at the facts. Do we, in fact, have an increasing gun crime problem in this nation? Is gun violence spiraling out of control, as the anti-gunners would have you believe?

What do the verified FACTS say (as opposed to the ‘sky is falling’ anti-gun zealots)? Well, the truth of the matter is that major gun-related crime rates have been steadily on the decline for more than a decade. Likewise, most of the major violent crime rates have been declining over the past two decades. What’s more, even accidental gun deaths have been declining despite a huge rise in gun ownership.

Gun Control FACTS Chart

So the next time someone tells you that guns must be outlawed to halt a terrible increase in gun crime, you can respond, with 100% certainty, that gun-related crime is going down, not up.

And interestingly, as the supply of handguns has increased, the amount of property crimes has plummeted. Maybe the bad guys are thinking twice before breaking and entering…

Gun Control FACTS Chart
Chart Source: www.GunFacts.info.

Gun Facts™ debunks common myths about gun control. It is intended as a reference guide for journalists, politicians and anyone interested in learning about gun control facts… crime, and the Second Amendment. The free Gun Facts e-book provides over 100 pages of indexed information.

Credit Boyd Allen for finding this first chart. We welcome reader submissions.
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June 22nd, 2016

2016 Shaping Up as Record-Breaking Year for Gun Sales

NICs Firearms background checks Statistics

The recent Orlando terror attack has sent Americans to gun stores in droves. Prompted by concerns for self-protection (as well as proposed new gun control laws), Americans are buying more guns — all types of guns. This reflects a general trend over the past few years. In fact, it looks like 2016 will see the highest number of gun sales in American history. Based on FBI background check data, it appears that 2016 will set new records for gun sales, with nearly 17 million new guns sold. By the end of the year it is projected that Americans will own 405 million firearms — over 1.25 guns per capita*.

Record-Setting Gun Sales in 2016
by Dean Weingarten, Gunwatch.
In 2016, Americans continue to break records for gun sales. While the National Instant Check System (NICS) does not track gun sales directly, the numbers are highly correlated. The numbers of NICS checks, and the increase in private firearms, have skyrocketed during the Obama administration.

It is possible, even likely, that 2016 will reach over 28 million instant checks. If we reach 28 million instant checks in 2016, that will be about 16.8 million new firearms added to the stock in 2016 [roughly 40% of NICS checks are for “previously owned” guns]. That projection puts us at 405 million private firearms in the United States at the end of 2016.

The total for 2016 (through the end of May) is 11,698,006 instant checks. That is more than the entire year of 2007, which held the record up to that year. Thus, during the Obama years, the number of private firearm sales has doubled. In 2015, the highest year on record, the total number of checks was 23,141,970. 2016 is shaping up to break the 2015 record by millions of instant checks.

May 2016 had the most instant checks of all the months of May on record. That makes 13 months in a row that have broken records for all previous years. If the trend continues, 2016 will reach the record numbers of 2015 by the end of October, with the busy months of November and December still ahead.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten, Gunwatch. Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.


*The USA has an estimated population of 322,762,018 according to a 2015 end-of-year estimate from the U.S. Census Bureau. Source: USNews.com.

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March 20th, 2016

America Got 12.25 Million More Guns in 2014

NICS, ATF, BATFE, Statistics, Guns, Gun Sales, Background Checks

Guns and more guns — over 12.25 million guns* were added to U.S. private inventories in 2014 based on reports from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). In 2014, 9,050,626 firearms were manufactured in the USA, while 3,625,268 firearms were imported and 420,932 firearms were exported. The total of guns made and imported in 2014 (minus guns exported that year) works out to 12,254,962 firearms, bringing the total U.S. cumulative stock to over 375 million! Yes that means there were over 375 million firearms in the USA as of the end of 2014. That’s more than one gun for every man, woman, and child in the country. And a lot more were added in 2015…

While the number of guns added in 2014 was impressive, it appears that the number of guns added last year (2015) may exceed the 2014 figures, breaking all-time records.

Dean Weingarten explains: “You see, 2015 was a record year for NICS checks, at 23,141,970. It will take another year before we find out if the number of firearms added to the private stock exceeded the record set in 2013, of 16.031 million. I expect that another 13.422 million will have been added in 2015, but it could be as high as 17.588 million, based on the 2013 ratio of NICS checks to firearms added.”

“The number of NICS checks for 2014 was 20.969 million, slightly lower than in 2013, which was 21.094 million (rounded to the nearest thousand). Many NICS checks are used to purchase firearms that are already in the private stock; a fair number are used for background checks on carry permits; and more than one firearm may be purchased with a single background check.”

Story based on report ©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included. For more information: Link to Gun Watch.

*This 2014 firearms total includes rifles, shotguns, handguns and others, “others” being mostly receivers that might become either rifles or handguns when finished. It does not include firearms produced for the military services.

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December 1st, 2015

Record Number of Firearms Transactions on Black Friday 2015

Black Friday Gun Sales

Based on NICS data, a record number of firearms were sold on “Black Friday”, the day after Thanksgiving. More background checks were recorded on Friday, November 27th, 2015 than on any day in American history. And for the 4-day period, 26-29 November (2015), a total of 368,774 NICS background checks were completed — nearly 10% more than the year before.

Black Friday Gun SalesBlack Friday 2015 Was Biggest Single Day Ever for Gun Sales
Thanks to attractive promotions from many vendors such as Brownells and Cabelas, all types of firearms flew off the shelves last week, which was the highest Black Friday period in the history of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

The FBI, which administers NICS, reports that NICS processed 185,345 transactions on November 27, Black Friday, making the day the highest Black Friday ever and the highest day in NICS history. The highest previous day was December 21, 2012 with 177,170 background checks. For the entire November 26-29, 2015 four-day Black Friday period 368,774 checks were completed, a 9.9% increase over the 335,555 checks conducted over the corresponding 2014 4-day period.

Background Checks Vs. Actual Sales
NICS statistics represent the number of firearm background checks initiated through the NICS. They do not represent the number of firearms sold. Based on varying state laws and purchase scenarios, a one-to-one correlation cannot be made between a firearm background check and a firearm sale.

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November 30th, 2014

Black Friday 2014 — More Guns Sold Than Ever Before…

According to CNN, more guns were sold on November 28, 2014 (Black Friday), than on any other day in the history of the United States. Background check processing was running well ahead of Black Friday 2013 when the previous single-day record of 144,758 FBI-processed gun transactions was set. In fact, so many Americans lined up to purchase firearms on Black Friday 2014 that the FBI was processing three background checks every second.

Think about that — three gun sales per second. That’s triple the normal rate of gun sales. The website The Blaze reported: “The typical Black Friday boom in gun sales doubles the number of background checks handled by the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), from one per second on an average day to two per second. By Friday afternoon, that figure had reached three checks per second … putting 2014 on track to blow past the prior Black Friday record of 144,758 FBI-processed gun transactions in a single day.”

FBI Background Check

An FBI spokesman said that FBI staffers would be working overtime all through this weekend to deal with the vast number of background check requests, working to ease the backlog.

Photo courtesy BullocksGuns.com, Flint, MI.

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August 23rd, 2014

Huge Increases in U.S. Gun Production in Recent Years

Are you a gun-loving number cruncher? Then you need to read a new Shooting Industry Magazine Report. This report, filled with reams of hard data from the past two decades, reveals the state of the gun-making industry. You may be stunned to see how firearm production has skyrocketed in the past few years. In fact, total U.S. firearm production rose to 8,872,456 units in 2012, compared to 6,351,479 in 2011. That’s a 39.7% increase. SEE MORE STATS.

firearm production data shooting industry

U.S. Gun-Makers Set Production Records
The top three firearm manufacturers all increased production substantially in 2012 compared to 2011, setting new production records. In 2012, the #1 American gun-maker, Ruger, boosted production 48% over 2011 levels. The #2 company, Remington Arms, raised production 13% in 2012, while #3 Smith and Wesson increased production 31% in 2012 compared to the year before. What’s more, in 2012, each one of these three U.S. manufacturers built more than a million firearms. That’s an historic first according to Shooting Industry Magazine.

More Guns = Higher Demand for Ammo and Reloading Components
If you have been wondering “Where did all the powder and .22 LR ammo go?”, take a good look at the chart above. There has been an enormous boost in production in recent years. Unquestionably, many of the buyers of all those new guns are looking for ammo to shoot. This helps explain why ammo and reloading components are in short supply.

Gun Sales Are Below Record 2013 Levels, But Are Still Very High
Gun sales peaked in 2013, and there has been a slow-down in 2014. However, it does look like 2014 sales will outpace 2012. The Shooting Industry Magazine report declares: “During May 2014, NICS conducted 877,655 (NSSF-adjusted) background checks. While this was a 9.9% decrease, compared to May 2013, it was the second highest May in NICS history. More importantly, it was a 4% increase over May 2012. This trend — a decrease in background checks compared to 2013, but an increase compared to 2012 — is reflected in the early months of 2014.”

Report Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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October 7th, 2013

NICS Background Checks Available Despite Federal Shutdown

FBI NICS logo shield instant background check systemPlanning to buy a gun soon, and worried about the effect of the Federal government shutdown? Many government services have been temporarily terminated (and Federal facilities closed). However, the background check system for firearms purchases is still up and running. The NSSF reports that The FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) Section is remaining fully operational and maintaining normal business hours. Accordingly, if you go to a gun store to purchase a firearm, the shop should be able to run a NICS background check in normal fashion.

However, some other firearms-related services of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) have been halted for the time being. The ATF’s Office of Enforcement Programs and Services (EPS), which includes the imports, firearms technology, NFA branches, and the licensing center and firearms industry programs branch now processing marking variances, is effectively shut down, operating only with minimal staff.

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July 27th, 2013

Gun Sales Climb, Month after Month, Year after Year

FBI NICS gun sales 2013Americans are buying more guns than ever. FBI NICS Gun Purchase Background Check data (as adjusted by the NSSF), shows that June 2013 gun sales are up 3.0% over the same period Last Year (See Chart 1). This marks the 37th straight month that NSSF-adjusted NICS figures have increased when compared to the same period the previous year. (This year’s January increase was even more dramatic — see Chart 2). What’s even more interesting, in June 2013, Americans purchased more than twice as many guns as they did a decade ago in June 2003 — roughly 870,000 vs. roughly 405,000. That’s a big difference.

CHART 1 — Adjusted NICS Checks in Month of June
FBI NICS gun sales 2013

CHART 2 — Adjusted NICS Checks in Month of January
FBI NICS gun sales 2013

Understanding the Numbers
The June 2013 NSSF-adjusted National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) figure of 872,025 is an increase of 3.0 percent over the NSSF-adjusted NICS figure of 846,437 in June 2012. The adjusted NICS data were derived by subtracting out NICS purpose code permit checks used by several states such as Connecticut, Illinois, and Utah for CCW permit application checks as well as checks on active CCW permit databases. Though not a direct correlation to firearms sales, the NSSF-adjusted NICS data provide a more accurate picture of current market conditions. For additional information on NICS or to view a complete set of the current monthly reports, please visit the NICS website.

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July 3rd, 2013

National Background Check System Upgrade on July 16, 2013

FBI National Instant Criminal Background Check System NICSHere’s a news item of importance to all our readers who have an FFL or who may process firearms transfers. The FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) has announced that the current E-Check system will be upgraded to version 2.0, effective July 16, 2013. Among a host of new features will be the elimination of the digital certificate and the ability to access NICS E-Check using any computer and browser. Target date for deployment is July 16. FFLs currently using the E-Check system should plan to re-register on (or after) July 16, 2013. You can register at the NICS E-Check Web site: www.nicsezcheckfbi.gov.

Benefits of Using New E-Check System
 You will be able to access NICS E-Check using any computer or browser.
 Added customer protection against identity theft.
 Added safeguard against theft of license number and codeword.
 Ability to retrieve NICS background check results 24/7.
 Ability to retrieve background checks initiated on E-Check or at the Call Center.
 Ability to print completed NICS background check search requests.
 The availability of messages regarding NICS operational status.
 No hold times waiting for the Call Center.
 No hold times waiting for a NICS Representative to review a transaction.

What is NICS?
The National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) was established to aid FFLs in determining whether or not the transfer of a firearm would violate state or federal law. Mandated by the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993 and launched by the FBI on November 30, 1998, NICS is used by Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs) to instantly determine whether a prospective buyer is eligible to buy firearms or explosives. Before ringing up the sale, cashiers call in a check to the FBI or to other designated agencies to ensure that each customer does not have a criminal record or isn’t otherwise ineligible to make a purchase. More than 100 million such checks have been made in the last decade, leading to more than 700,000 denials.

How NICS Functions, Step-by-Step

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April 7th, 2013

NSSF Attacks Flaws in Connecticut’s New Gun Legislation

Over the objections of legions of Connecticut gun-owners, Connecticut enacted what has been called the “nation’s strictest gun laws” (Huffington Post). Along with new controls on semi-automatic rifles, magazine-capacity limits, and restrictions on ammunition purchases, Connecticut adopted a new system of background checks on all gun transfers. Apparently, the new legislation was so poorly drafted that Connecticut’s new gun laws do not comply with Federal NICS procedures.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association for the firearms and ammunition industry, issued the following statement: “Gov. Dannel Malloy … signed into law a package of gun-control legislation that was assembled in secret by a small group of state legislators and that never received a public hearing. Most legislators had little time to even read the actual bill language. The unfortunate results of this process… [are] that mistakes in [the] enacted law will have to be corrected.

For example, language in the new law specifies a procedure for licensed firearms retailers to perform mandatory ‘universal’ background checks on private party transactions that is not permissible based on federal law and regulations governing the National Instant Criminal Background Checks (NICS) system. As we read it, this mistake in lawmaking means that all private party transactions in the state now cannot be accomplished legally. We will be carefully studying all provisions of the law for possible challenge in the courts.”

The new Connecticut gun-control laws are the main focus of this week’s Gun Talk® Radio show with Tom Gresham. Richard Burgess, President of Connecticut Carry, joins Tom this Sunday to discuss the latest anti-gun legislation passed this week by Connecticut legislators and signed into law by Governor Malloy.

The new legislation, among other things, adds more than 100 firearms to the state’s assault weapons ban and creates what is being called the nation’s first dangerous weapon offender registry, as well as a magazine ban and eligibility rules for buying ammunition. You can learn more about Connecticut’s passage of the new laws in a feature from the Litchfield County Times.

In its 19th year of national syndication, Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk Radio airs live on Sundays from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm Eastern, and runs on more than 138 stations, plus on XM (Ch. 165) Satellite Radio. All Gun Talk shows can be downloaded as podcasts or accessed via Apple iTunes. To get more information, visit www.guntalk.com.

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March 26th, 2013

Fed DOJ Invests $20 Million in Firearms Backgound Check Systems

The Justice Department’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP) is planning to spend more than $20 million to strengthen the firearm background check system by improving states’ abilities to share information with the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). Attorney General Eric Holder stated: “The Department of Justice intends to take immediate and effective action to work with states to fill gaps in information currently available to the NICS system.”

OJP’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) and Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) are providing three grants to support state efforts to improve flow of the information needed by NICS. The grants would be used to improve access to and reporting of: 1) mental health information; 2) felony convictions; 3) misdemeanor domestic violence convictions; and 4) domestic violence restraining orders. The project also hopes to get immediate access to active felony and misdemeanor warrants. The grants will support enhancements to electronic submissions of fingerprints to state and federal systems as well as linking of arrest and disposition. Funding will be provided under National Criminal History Improvement Program (NCHIP), NICS Act Record Improvement Program (NARIP), and a new initiative called, Improving the Completeness of Firearm Background Checks through Enhanced State Data Sharing. CLICK HERE for more info on the new Background Check Data Sharing Programs.

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November 28th, 2012

Record Number of Firearm Sales on ‘Black Friday’ 2012

Black Friday gun sales 2012On November 23, 2012 (Black Friday), Americans purchased more guns than on any other day in history. Gun sales (based on NICS background check data) set a new single-day record. This year, the FBI logged 154,873 Black Friday background checks, up 20% from the 129,166 back-ground checks done on Black Friday 2011. And, since a NICS check may authorize purchase of multiple guns, the 154,873 number may “under-count” the actual number of firearms purchased on Black Friday this year.

Recent election outcomes may have influenced the spike in gun sales. People are concerned that more restrictive gun control laws may be enacted during President Obama’s second term. Writing in Ammoland.com, AWR Hawkins declared: “The bottom line: Americans want their guns. And it appears they’re getting them before Obama has the chance to do anything about it.” Hawkins adds: “As in 2011, women were increasingly among those buying guns on Black Friday. And first time buyers, whether male or female, were also well represented.”

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November 23rd, 2012

Record Gun Sales Forecast for ‘Black Friday’ 2012

NSSF story By Bill Brassard
Post-election reports indicate a rising demand for firearms nationwide. If 2012 follows past trends (based on federal background check data), gun sales on the day after Thanksgiving — Black Friday — will hit record levels.

Black Friday NICS gun background sales

Over the past four years (November 2008 through the December 2011), four of the top 10 most active days for background checks were Black Fridays. (See Chart.) The single-day record for most background checks was set on November 26, 2011, when more than 129,000 were made by the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System. The second highest Black Friday total was on November 28, 2008, only weeks after President Barack Obama was elected to his first term. That total of 97,848 was a record number of background checks at that time.

Given the president’s reelection and also his call in the third debate for renewed restrictions on semi-automatic firearms, will a new record be set this Black Friday, November 23?

A background check is mandatory prior to the purchase of any firearm at retail. Background-check statistics are indicators of sales activity, though it’s important to note that for a variety of reasons a one-to-one correlation cannot be made between a background check and a firearm purchase.
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