With all the unfortunate school shootings and other events that have prompted congress to push stronger legislation on gun control, this article shows how that has created a huge spike in firearm sales in the last few months. For those of you who sell guns at your stores, have you seen a spike in sales as a result of articles like this and other things you have been hearing on the news? PawnMaster pawn software does a great job of helping you stay compliant with our gun log and police reporting functionality. If you would like to know more about how we can help your store call us now 888-949-7296 or leave us a comment below. We would love to hear your comments or concerns.
Gun sales reached at least a 14-year high last month, according to a widely used, if imperfect, measure.
The FBI processed 2.78 million background checks through its national database (NICS), meaning last month was the busiest month ever for gun-sellers since NICS began in 1998. For contrast, authorities in Dec. 2007 processed 1.23 million checks, and five years before that, in 2002, only 974,000 checks.
Last month’s record-setting pace was the result of two deadly shootings in a month’s time, which significantly increased the likelihood that President Obama and Congressional Democrats would draft anti-gun legislation. But even before the massacre at Sandy Hook and the ambush outside Rochester, N.Y., gun sales were markedly higher, driven there by suspicion that the president would push for tighter restrictions. Last November was another record-busting month: 2 million NICS checks.
Now, with the creation of a task force led by Vice President Joe Biden, it seems that the White House will indeed lead a charge; increased criticism has already been directed toward retailers like Wal-Mart, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Cabela’s—all sell firearms, including the type of high-powered rifle used in the attacks—and some gun shows have even been cancelled. Expect this surge in gun sales to continue.
The NICS checks serve only as a rough proxy for sales, but can gauge broad sentiment. The largest gun manufacturers are closely held entities, and as such, don’t report their figures. Public gun companies, Smith & Wesson and Sturm, Ruger, as well as the private-equity backed Freedom Group, report on a quarterly basis. And NICS has several loopholes. Examples: it’s used only by federally licensed retailers, so some gun show sales go uncounted, and a firearm owner with a permit would not be checked when buying a second weapon.
Still, you can see the irony here: A shooting claims a great deal of lives, fear increases that anti-gun legislation will follow and folks promptly head out to stock up. Consider that during last July and August, months with two other deadly shootings, NICS background checks rose by more than 12%, to 2.8 million.
Greater irony still when you consider the politics behind this. While Democrats are among the loudest voices for new gun legislation, nothing has been better for the gun industry than President Obama. In 2007, the FBI processed 11.1 million checks through NICS. Last year, that figure was up 43% to 19.6 billion. In this period, President Obama needed to wrestle with far greater problems than gun control, and he made scant mention of it. Merely his presence in the White House was enough to stoke fear. The largest sales day in gun history came on the Black Friday after his first election, then again this year, when the NICS system crashed twice in late November, weeks after Obama’s reelection. It all adds up to a big business—just the recreational element of guns accounts for $4 billion annually.
Reach Abram Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.