Pre-Election Day musings: Firearm sales in October 2016 have jumped considerably over the same period last year. A reliable method of measuring gun sale trends is by the number of background checks performed by the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). The NICS figures have to be adjusted since it is also used for explosives purchases, and some other background checks and security clearances. The National Shooting Sports Foundation regularly adjusts the NICS totals for just firearms sales.
For the past eight years under the Obama administration the rate of gun sales have steadily risen by a small percentage each period. Last month it jumped 11.7 percent. The October 2016 NSSF-adjusted NICS figure was 1,353,299 gun sales, compared to the October 2015 figure of 1,211,478. That is more than a million firearms sold each month through dealers; and that does not count private sales. Impressive.