February Continues Strong Firearm Sales, FBI Says
WASHINGTON, D.C.Despite an ever-worsening economy and slumping retail sales, firearm sales increased in February, continuing an upswing that began after November's election.
NICS reported 1,259,078 checks in February, up from 1,021,130 in the same month a year ago.
Data from the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) show background checks on the sale of firearms jumped 23.3 percent in February when compared to February 2008. The increase follows a 29 percent rise in January, a 24 percent rise in December and a 42 percent jump in November, when a record 1,529,635 background checks were performed.
The continuing increase in firearm sales coincides with an ATF announcement that firearm retailers may continue to photocopy the Form 4473 -- the federal document required for purchase of a firearm from a licensed retailer -- in its entirety until they receive requested backorders from the Distribution Center.
FBI background checks are required under federal law for all individuals purchasing firearms from federally licensed retailers. These checks serve as a strong indicator of actual sales.