Much to the chagrin of the gun-hating Left, gun sales appear to have set another record in May, as Americans continue to take advantage of their Second Amendment right to armed self-defense.
As reported by the Washington Free Beacon (WFB), requests to the FBI’s National Instant Background Check System, or NICS — a common measure of gun sales — numbered 2,002,992, according to a report posted by the bureau.
That is more than NICS requests in any previous May in the history of the background check system. The previous record came a year ago in May 2017, when the FBI’s system received 1,942,677 requests.
In addition, April 2018 saw more requests than any previous April, and March 2018 more requests than any previous March, the WFB noted, adding:
NICS checks are considered the strongest indicator for gun sales because every gun sale made through a licensed dealer requires a NICS check and some states require the checks on used gun sales between private individuals. However, the number of NICS checks does not exactly match the number of guns sold in the United States for a number of reasons. Multiple guns can be sold during a single NICS check, most states do not require NICS checks on used sales between private individuals, and many states run NICS checks on those applying for gun-carry permits.
According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade group for the firearms industry, the year-on-year increases may be attributable to more permit checks than actual guns sales, though sales of firearms remain at or near record levels.
The NSSF does its own analysis of the FBI’s background check numbers every month, though their figures suffer from the very same uncertainty surrounding the FBI’s underlying sales statistics.
“These statistics represent the number of firearm background checks initiated through the NICS,” the FBI wrote in its May report. “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.”
AR and AK sales rising fast
For instance, in many states, direct person-to-person sales of firearms do not have to be run through the NICS system. Also, while such transactions do represent ‘gun sales,’ they obviously do not represent sales of new, never-previously-owned weapons.
But the political environment also makes a strong case that record numbers of guns are being sold month-on-month. Consider all the talk recently of additional gun control coupled with new gun bans in some parts of the country; in every case where the national conversation involves limited access to firearms, background check figures go up, leading many analysts to believe that sales are going up as well. (Related: NRA’s Loesch following CNN ‘town hall’ screamfest: ‘I had to have security to get out of there’)
Following recent school shootings in Parkland, Fla, and Santa Fe, Texas, new efforts to restrict access to guns were called for around the country. Republican governors in Vermont and Florida signed new legislation such as raising the age limit to 21 for rifle purchases that have already resulted in legal challenges. And bans of bump stocks have become a hot topic in many state legislatures.
New sales and higher background check numbers mirror an increase in membership for the nation’s preeminent gun rights organization, the National Rifle Association (NRA). In recent months, the group has seen its membership numbers explode as it came under withering — and inappropriate — attack from the Left.
“Sales of semi-auto rifles, especially AR and AK platforms, have more than doubled in sales since the Florida shooting and subsequent media coverage of possible pending legislation,” Rex McClanahan, owner of one of the biggest online gun dealers, Bud’s Gun Shop, told the Washington Free Beacon earlier this year. “This is exactly what happened after Sandy Hook, San Bernardino, Orlando, etc.”
Read more at Guns.news.
J.D. Heyes is also editor-in-chief of The National Sentinel.