Gun Sales Expected to Rise Over Holiday Season

Iowa’s senators requested the FBI and ATF make preparations for the increase.

  • Both of the Republican senators from Iowa have sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland requesting that the Department of Justice (DOJ) make a plan to prepare for increased gun sales.
  • Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst asserted in their letter that there is an expected increase in gun purchases during the holiday season.
  • The senators were particularly interested in the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) assigning additional staff to deal with background checks for gun purchases.
  • FBI Director Christopher Wray and ATF Director Steve Dettelbach were CC’d on the letter.
  • “I write to request the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), in conjunction with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), make additional preparations to accommodate the anticipated influx of legal gun purchases on Black Friday, November 25, 2022,” the senators’ letter read.
  • “The FBI is notoriously understaffed on Black Friday, despite knowing year-after-year of the high-volume of gun sales. This must change. Now is the time to prepare the FBI and ATF for adequate staffing to avoid the inevitable holiday rush.”
  • “Black Friday is less than a month away and reports already indicate the ATF is shorthanded and facing backlogs … While NICS is under the FBI’s jurisdiction, prospective buyers are required to complete an ATF Form 4473, and the Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) relays that information to NICS. The NICS staff perform a background check on the buyer, and that background check verifies the buyer is not prohibited from purchasing or owning a firearm,” the letter went on to say.
  • “To ensure that the delays and backlogs that have plagued the FBI, ATF, and NICS in the past are not repeated this year, I request, no later than November 18, 2022, an explanation on how the Department of Justice, FBI, and ATF plan to ensure they are adequately staffed to avoid additional delays during this high-volume day. Thank you for your swift attention to this important matter.”
  • Gun sales proved to be largely inflation-proof, despite historic economic pressures causing Americans to cut spending in many areas.
  • FBI data indicated that gun sales topped 1 million for 38 straight months, as of early October of 2022.
  • “People are still buying guns like crazy,” said Justin Anderson, the marketing director for Hyatt Guns in Charlotte, North Carolina, one of the nation’s largest gun shops.
  • Individuals signing up for concealed carry classes are also holding steady according to Anderson: “While inflation has affected sales in other markets, the gun industry is still overstocked on inventory. Prices have actually been trending lower, so I’m recommending to anyone on the fence about buying a gun: do it now. Pricing in the industry is as low as I’ve seen it in more than a decade,” he said.