U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- The National Instant background Check System (NICS) set a record for the most checks done in any month, ever, since the system started in 1998. There were a total NICS 4,317,804 checks done in January. The next highest month was in December of 2020, with 3,937,066 checks.
As readers of this correspondent know, an increasing number of NICS checks are done for things other than gun sales, primarily for gun carry permits and permit rechecks. The formula used to approximate the number of actual gun sales uses numbers supplied by the FBI.
Checks for handguns + Checks for long guns + Checks for other guns + (Checks for multiple sales of guns x 2.5) = number of guns sold.
Using that formula the, number of guns sold was about 2.018 million in January of 2021. The number sold in December of 2020, last month, was about 1.90 million. The highest number of guns sold in any month, as recorded by NICS, was in December of 2015, when about 2.22 million were sold.
Most January sales have dropped off after the Christmas/end of year rush. This year sales increased. Here are some previous January gun sales levels, as estimated by NICS numbers:
- January 2017 – 1,049,441
- January 2018 – 989,275
- January 2019 – 1,002,952
- January 2020 – 1,132,183
- January 2021 has roughly twice the average number of sales for January in the last four years.
Most popular models of firearms, and many not so popular models, are difficult to find in retail stores, or online.
Obtaining ammunition requires diligent searching, and the willingness/ability to pay much higher than normal prices for nearly all calibers.
This is the first time, ever, this correspondent has seen a shortage of 12 gauge bird shot loads. The last known shortage of those loads in the United States was during World War II.
The reasons for the enormous increase in demand for firearms and ammunition, which inevitably lead to shortages of supply, are clear to this correspondent.
First is the heavily contested election of former Vice President Joe Biden as President. President Biden has promised more infringements on Second Amendment rights than any previous president. When people believe they may no longer be able to obtain what they want, in the future, they purchase it now, while they can.
Add 9 or 10 million new gun owners (about 8.4 million in 2020, and another .8 million in January of 2021) who now need ammunition, and are uncertain of a future supply, due to possible regulatory crackdowns. Ammunition is said to be back ordered for two years in the future.
It has been reported between 1/3 and 1/2 of American citizens believe there is a 50/50 chance of civil war in the next decade. It is a frightening possibility. The United States, of all the countries in the world, is one of the very few who have not experienced significant war on their territory in the last 150 years.
People who believe a civil war is imminently possible would reasonably be expected to take actions to prepare for the possibility.
Actions such as: purchase storable food, rural property, get their passports in order, save money, talk to their neighbors about assisting each other, and, yes, purchase guns and ammunition (or be glad to have done so already).
As disenchantment with the Biden administration is likely to escalate, the demand for guns and ammunition is unlikely to be satiated.
Expect two years, minimum, of high ammunition prices and difficulty in obtaining the exact ammunition you want.
About 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 retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.