May 2017 Gun Sales Set Record

What about this "Trump Slump'?

Handgun and pen and paperwork required for the background check for a gun purchase

The Federal Bureau of Investigation ran more firearms-related background checks in May 2017 than in any previous May. That’s any previous May ever, according to the data. Even more so than May 2016.

The National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) registered 1,942,677 checks from May 1 to May 31, according to FBI documents posted June 1. That represents an increase of more than 70,000 checks from the previous record set in 2016. May represents the first time that NICS processed more checks during a month in 2017 than it did in 2016.

We have spoken about a “Trump Slump’ where interest in applying for permits and gun sales seems to have slowed down now that people worried about gun rights aren’t so worried anymore with the Republican presidency. Many people felt that if Hillary Clinton had won, that big changes to availability and access to guns would occur, so there was a rush to get guns while people felt they still could. That sense of urgency is now gone. Even given that change in attitude, the numbers show that interest in guns remains high.

NICS numbers are trusted because checks that they track are required on nearly all sales involving a licensed gun dealer. Some states do not require an NICS report on sales between private individuals. Also, the numbers of background checks does not correlate to an exact one-to-one number of guns sold because more than one gun sale can take place over the course of a single background check. (Someone can buy two or three guns from Wal-Mart for just one check.) Some states require NICS to be flagged whenever someone is applying for a permit as well. But overall, it is the most accurate numbers that the industry has.