May 2022 Continues Trend of Record High Gun Sales

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U.S.A.-(– May of 2022 continues the trend for 2022 to be the third-highest year for firearm sales. The month is the fourth-highest for NICS checks on record. The record year was 2020. The second-highest year was 2021. 2022 is headed to be the third-highest year on record for firearm sales. The fourth highest year for firearm sales was 2016.

The third highest year for May NICS checks was 2019. May of 2022 was the fourth-highest for total NICS checks.

Handgun sales continue as 58% of all gun sales. Long gun sales are 32% of the total sales; with multiple sales of guns and other sales; which could be a rifle, shotgun, or pistol, each taking up about 5% of the total.

Multiple is the category for firearm sales where the form 4473 had multiple guns on it.  Other means the type of gun was not determined at the time of sale, because the receiver, which has the serial number, could be made into either a rifle, shotgun, pistol, or possibly even simply a “firearm” that is not otherwise categorized.

The total number of gun sales in May was about 1.14 million. The record was in 2020, at 1.58 million.The total NICS checks in May of 2022 were 2.27 million.  About 1.09 million were permit and permit rechecks, with most of those from Illinois and Kentucky. The rest of the NICS checks were such things as pawn claims.

Lines are values from 2021, Bars are values from 2022

With about 1.14 million firearm sales through the NICS system in May of 2022, the total firearms sales were about 6.52 million so far for the year. If this trend continues, 16.16 million gun sales are projected by the end of 2022.

The number of new guns added to the private stock in the United States in 2019, was about .866 of the number of NICS gun sales. With this correction applied to projected gun sales, the total private stock is now a bit above 480 million in the United States and will be about 489 million at the end of 2022. The number of new guns will always be lower than the total number of gun sales because the sales of previously owned guns are recorded as legitimate gun sales using the NICS system.

Projecting gun sales is always an imprecise endeavor. The hard push for infringements on Second Amendment rights following the mass school murder in Uvalde, Texas, will tend to boost gun sales. One of the most desired rifles will be those which are similar to the AR15. Against this trend are the huge increases in food and fuel costs. These are mostly non-discretionary costs, which means fewer dollars for discretionary spending on firearms and ammunition.

Whether firearms and ammunition are considered a “discretionary expenditure” is debatable. You have to eat. You probably need transportation to earn the money to buy the food to eat.

A lack of security can be a greater and more immediate threat than a lack of food. In many areas of the country, residents have a distinct lack of security in their persons and their property.

Security can be escalated to survival, above eating or having shelter, if the need is immediate.

A  close call can be a significant incentive to obtain the tools needed for security.  The increase in violent crime in major cities offers people living there many opportunities to experience close calls.

This correspondent expects firearm sales to increase in June and July of 2022.  Sales in those months normally fall or remain flat. The demand is likely to increase enough to prop up firearm prices.

Demand for ammunition is likely to rise as well, keeping ammunition prices from falling, perhaps re-inflating the ammunition bubble.

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.

Dean Weingarten

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The Tree of Liberty is asking me for sustenance. IT is thirsty!

Ricardo Pacetti

Even in Canada.