March 2018 U.S. Firearms Sales Picking Up

March 2018 firearms sales at 1,594,988 units, a year-over-year increase of 11.4% from March 2017
March 2018 firearms sales at 1,594,988 units, a year-over-year increase of 11.4% from March 2017

GREENVILLE, SC, USA & HALIFAX, NS, CANADA –-( Small Arms Analytics & Forecasting (SAAF) estimates March 2018 firearms sales at 1,594,988 units, a year-over-year increase of 11.4% from March 2017.

Small Arms Analytics & Forecasting’s firearms unit sales estimates are based on raw data taken from the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), adjusted for checks likely to be unrelated to end-user firearms sales.

The FBI’s numbers cannot be taken at face-value as very large numbers of background checks are unrelated to end-user sales. For example, in March the state of Kentucky conducted almost 391,000 so-called permit checks whereas end-user checks at firearms retailers amounted to just over 30,000 checks.

Small Arms Analytics & Forecasting Chief Economist Jurgen Brauer comments that “while the renewed national debate on firearms regulation following the February 14 mass shooting at the Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., had surprisingly little effect on February sales figures, this seems to have been made up for in the March sales figures, perhaps because a number of states actually proposed and passed age-limitations and other restrictions on firearms sales.”

Small Arms Analytics & Forecasting

ABOUT Small Arms Analytics & Forecasting:

Small Arms Analytics & Forecasting (SAAF) is a research consultancy focusing on the business & economics of the global small arms and ammunition markets. Politically unaffiliated, SAAF is an independent, evidenced-based resource for industry, advocacy, research, and policymaking alike, as well as for financial analysts and members of the media. Among other services, SAAF produces forecasts of U.S. civilian firearms unit sales, nationwide and for most states. Small Arms AnalyticsSM and Small Arms Analytics & ForecastingSM both are legally protected Service Marks of Small Arms Analytics & Forecasting. (Contact [email protected] for sales and other information.)

Note to Editors: Small Arms Analytics & Forecasting’s Chief Economist Jurgen Brauer is available for phone interviews. Contact: Phone +1-706-267-6072 or direct email to [email protected] Additional charts and images are available on request.

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That Hog-Boy is proving himself to be one helluva weapons salesman. Even better than Barry Hussein was!

Jim Macklin

The ATF requires a NICS check on a 4473 unless the ATF has approved a recent FBI background check record with fingerprints and photographs for issuance of a state issue carry license in which case the number on that license is entered on the 4473. Some states issue a CCW/CCH license using a background check procedure that does not meet the ATF requirement in which case ten NICS phone call is still required. Some FFLs might have a store policy to always make the phone call. A single form 4473 can be used to make multiple gun sales to the… Read more »

Will T.

Not to call bull, but BULL! There are numerous states that do not require NICS checks if one has a LTC/CHL/Permit to Carry. Example: I know a gun shop that over 300 firearms in March to such individuals. Those are sales and most often offset a states use for other reasons. Be careful with figures as they can be viewed to fit your story.


T, You’re correct.

A number of states (although, sadly, Oklahoma is not among them) do follow federal guidelines, and they do not require repetitive NICS checks for firearms purchases by handgun licensees. So that is yet another reason that the number of NICS checks cannot be exactly related to actual firearms sales… however, NICS checks remains a good approximation of those sales, and as long as it is so acknowledged the NICS numbers are at least minimally useful.