April 11, 2018

Gun Sales Hit New Monthly Record in March

March 2018 firearms background checks set a new monthly record for the period, recently released totals from the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) show.

There were 2,767,699 NICS checks in March 2018, Woodard said, beating the previous record of 2,523,265 set in March 2016 by 244,434 transactions.

"It's important to understand, these statistics represent the number of firearm background checks initiated through the NICS," Gun Tests Editor Todd Woodard said about the figures. "They do not represent the number of firearms sold. It's almost certain that gun sales were higher than what's reported."

march 2018 record gun sales

According to a note at the bottom of the FBI NICS-totals release, "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."

Still, the number of NICS checks in a month is considered a strong indicator for how well gun sales are doing, Woodard explained. Each sale made by a federally licensed dealer, such as a gun store, is subject to a check. Missing from these transaction totals are the sale of used guns between private parties. Also, some states use the checks to issue gun-carry permits.

"And sales of multiple guns during a single transaction by a dealer generally only requires a single background check," Woodard said. "So, for example, when I bought three bolt-action rifles at a local Academy store in Houston in March, that only generated one NICS check."

Sales have more than doubled with media coverage of recently-passed and currently-pending guns-and-accessories legislation, says Rex McClanahan, owner of one of the biggest online gun dealers, Bud's Gun Shop, told the Washington Free Beacon at the end of February.

Clanahan said the market had actually gotten very soft after Trump took office. Manufacturers and distributors alike were sitting on thousands of firearms, causing prices to drop substantially, so gun buyers can find deep discounts on many types of firearms in the current marketplace.

Click to read related Gun Tests coverage of gunowners' rights articles below:

Click the links below to read related Gun Tests coverage of gunowners' rights:

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NICS Gets Attention, Good and Bad

NICS Delay or Denial? Steps to Take

Comments (5)

I wonder if NRA new members are up also?

Posted by: dogwalker10 | April 22, 2018 6:42 AM    Report this comment

Record??? For March, maybe. December of 2015 was over 3.3 million, and December of 2016 was still higher than the March 2018 number. Not much of a story, as everyone already knows the driving force behind the numbers, more attempts to limit our gun Rights. The same driving force behind every jump in Background Check numbers.

Posted by: Bawana17 | April 20, 2018 4:36 PM    Report this comment

I do wonder why stories such as this one never seem to make it into the big anti-gun media outlets such as NY Times, WA Post, and cable TV such as CNN? At least in past gun buying events (boosted by news events) I have never seen such info mentioned by the "fake news" industry. I'd like for their editors and readership to realize the impact of the anti-gun events, such as the recent big march against gun owners. Very strange that there would be no coverage!

Posted by: karl petres | April 19, 2018 12:24 PM    Report this comment

Lot of my local gun stores (lgs) say things are still terrible. Slow, slow, slow. My take is that there are quite a few large internet dealers getting a much larger share, and the small lgs aren't even being checked chosen to do the transfers/background checks. Plus more sales in the big box sporting goods stores like Academy. I would mention D---k's, but in my book they no longer even rate that. But do young hip first time gun buyers applaud that some stores dropped MSR's?

Do a lot of the younger generation first time gun buyers view the traditional lgs as some stodgy junky old man's club?

Posted by: AuldMike | April 19, 2018 12:03 PM    Report this comment

My take is that a lot of 5 year old CCW Permits are now being renewed---plus new applicants. Just a guess , however.

Posted by: ndbob | April 19, 2018 11:01 AM    Report this comment

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