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NICS Checks Down In September, Sales Low - Bearing Arms

We typically use NICS checks as a proxy for how many people buy guns each month. For a while, NICS checks were sky high, which many of us–including me–took to mean that the firearm industry was doing fine.

However, the latest batch of numbers are in, and actual firearm sales hit a seven-year low in September.

Estimated gun sales tumbled by near double digits last month, marking the slowest September since 2011, according to federal data.

Dealers processed nearly 1.9 million applications through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System last month. Estimated gun sales — the sum of transfers in the NICS’s handgun, long gun, multiple and other categories — declined more than 9 percent and totaled just 853,226.

Dealers processed nearly 435,000 applications for handguns and just under 371,000 applications for long guns last month. The latter represents the slowest September ever recorded in nearly two decades of FBI data. Likewise, long gun tallies for July and August sank to 10-year lows, returning to levels not seen since before the election of former President Barack Obama.



Historical patterns for the industry suggest checks and sales will ramp up again as the holiday season nears — typically the busiest time for retailers. Publicly traded gun companies — including Smith & Wesson and Sturm, Ruger and Company — consider fall and winter months the most profitable.
 

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Keep in mind too that for the past 8+ years has been record sales....bound to hit at least a slow patch eventually, assuming--assuming the numbers are correct.
 
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That's one way of tracking firearms purchases, but its not entirely accurate. I purchased three firearms in the month of September but since I have a CCW permit, there weren't any background checks called in.
Yup.
 

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I have a different theory.
We've had multiple "panic buying surges" in the last 8 years for various reasons of which anyone on this forum is aware. Like the slump in AR purchases, I believe there is a very simple reason for the drop in NICS checks. Namely, everyone who wanted an AR bought one or 3 or 5. They simply don't need to buy any more. So sales and NICS checks are down.
In other words, most Americans have bought everything they wanted / could afford, due to the "panic", so now they're all sitting at home fondling their toys, or maybe actually spending some trigger time on the weekend.
That's my interpretation of this 'statistic'. Of course I always keep in mind one of my favorite quotes from Samuel Clemens (nom de plum Mark Twain). "There are 3 types of lies. Lies, damned lies, and statistics."
 

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NICS Checks Down In September, Sales Low - Bearing Arms

We typically use NICS checks as a proxy for how many people buy guns each month. For a while, NICS checks were sky high, which many of us–including me–took to mean that the firearm industry was doing fine.

However, the latest batch of numbers are in, and actual firearm sales hit a seven-year low in September.

Estimated gun sales tumbled by near double digits last month, marking the slowest September since 2011, according to federal data.

Dealers processed nearly 1.9 million applications through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System last month. Estimated gun sales — the sum of transfers in the NICS’s handgun, long gun, multiple and other categories — declined more than 9 percent and totaled just 853,226.

Dealers processed nearly 435,000 applications for handguns and just under 371,000 applications for long guns last month. The latter represents the slowest September ever recorded in nearly two decades of FBI data. Likewise, long gun tallies for July and August sank to 10-year lows, returning to levels not seen since before the election of former President Barack Obama.



Historical patterns for the industry suggest checks and sales will ramp up again as the holiday season nears — typically the busiest time for retailers. Publicly traded gun companies — including Smith & Wesson and Sturm, Ruger and Company — consider fall and winter months the most profitable.
That's one way to do it, however it's not entirely accurate. You aren't counting the sales to LEO's for service weapons requiring no check, or permit holders, or multiple sales only requiring one check. Besides, NICS checks are good for 30 days, etc. It's a good start,
 
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