33 Months of 1 Million-Plus Gun Sales

Sales of firearms have fallen from their recent highs but are continuing in a nearly three-year-long string of 1.25 million sales a month.

A new analysis of FBI National Instant Criminal Background Check System data indicates that gun sale background checks have crossed the 1.25 million threshold for 33 straight months, sustaining the highest-ever era of gun purchases.

And, according to industry officials, 1.25 million may be the bottom in a “new normal” for presale background checks, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

“April’s NSSF adjusted NICS figures of 1,359,908 shows that there is a steady and sustained appetite for lawful firearm ownership in America. April’s figure continues the streak of more than 1 million background checks for the sale of a firearm for 33 months and demonstrates that the firearm industry continues to meet America’s strong demand for lawful firearm ownership,” said Mark Oliva, the spokesman for the industry representative and research center.

“It is clear that those looking for the ‘new normal’ of firearm sales following the two outsized years of 2020 and 2021 can find all the evidence needed to know that law-abiding citizens are turning out by the millions each month to exercise their Second Amendment rights,” he added.

Those two years saw the highest-ever number of FBI background checks for gun sales due to violent Black Lives Matter protests, surging crime, and the presidential election. During that period, gun sales surged, especially among women and black Americans, due to safety concerns.

And they have stayed high, though not at the 2020 and 2021 peaks, said NSSF. Helping drive sales has been the elimination of restrictions on carrying firearms in half of the states and President Joe Biden’s constant call for gun control and bans.

Cam Edwards, the editor of the website Bearing Arms, blogged, “The surge in gun purchases that began in March of 2020 has definitely subsided, but the ‘new normal’ for gun sales appears to be higher than what it was before the COVID pandemic, riots and unrest, and a rise in violent crime caused millions of Americans to embrace their right to keep and bear arms for the first time in their lives.”

Justin Anderson, the marketing director for Hyatt Guns in Charlotte, North Carolina, agreed and said that new gun owners appear to be like older ones: The more they use one, the more they want one.

Anderson told us, “NSSF is right on target with the ‘new normal.’ This same trend occurred in previous bubbles, and what it shows is that a certain percentage of new gun buyers get the ‘gun bug’ and become gun enthusiasts. Those new gun enthusiasts have created a new and unprecedented plateau in the industry.”

Reporting from The Washington Examiner.