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."
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.
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