December 2018 NICS Background Checks make Second Highest on Record

trump gun sales

The National Instant Background Checks System (NICS) checks for December of 2018 were 2,543,385. They were just a little less (42,753) than NICS checks for December of 2017. That makes them the fourth highest December on record and puts the total for 2018 as the second highest year of NICS checks on record with 26,181,936. The top year was 2016, with 27,438,673.

Gun sales are in a minor slump. Some call it the “Trump Slump”. How can this be?

Two things conspired to bring about the “Trump Slump”. The first is that President Trump is not Hillary Clinton. Gun owners are not as concerned about being able to purchase the gun and ammunition they want. There is also less fear of emotionally driven politics will be used to deny them the guns they wish to have.

The second part is many NICS checks are for other purposes. Once we take out the background checks done for permits and permit renewals, The numbers drop.  The numbers of permit and permit recheck numbers for December of 2018 were 737,926 and 285,273, respectively. Those are 1,023,199 checks not done for firearms purchases.

Last month I predicted there would be over 2.5 million NICS checks for December of 2018. It was an accurate prediction.  If, as expected, about .56  firearms are added to the private stock for each NICS check done, then NICS checks in December will translate into 1.42 million additional private firearms.

That increases the number of private firearms in the United States to about 433 million at this time. In April of 2018, I predicted the U.S. stock of private firearms would be more than 430 million by the end of 2018.

Over 177 million of those firearms have been added during the 20 years of NICS checks since 1998.  A hundred million were added in the last seven years.

With Nancy Pelosi the Speaker, and a Democrat House of Representatives in Congress, we can expect the introduction of numerous restrictive gun laws:

  • They will try to ban semi-automatics.
  • They will try to ban private sales.
  • They will try to impose national waiting periods.
  • They will try to impose “lock up your gun” laws.
  • They will try to increase the age a person has to be to purchase a firearm.
  • They will try to make the victim of gun theft responsible for anyone victimized by a criminal who used the stolen gun.
  • They will insist all of these laws will be “gun safety” laws when none of them increase safety with guns an iota.

Many of these laws will pass the House and be sent to the Senate. With a partisan media, these laws will have major attention. Even with the 177 million firearms added to the private stock over the last 20 years, there are still 200 million or so Americans who are not adequately armed.  Man of those unarmed Americans will listen to the rhetoric. They will see the hatred directed toward the President and his supporters.

A portion of the other side will believe the propaganda designed to dehumanize conservatives, particularly white, Christian, straight, men.

Some people on both sides will decide they need guns. Some will want to defend the Constitution, some will wish to destroy it.

I do not expect the highly restrictive infringements on Second Amendment rights to pass. I expect them to give the gun industry a bump.

About Dean Weingarten:Dean Weingarten

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.


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