This might come as a surprise to many firearm enthusiasts, but this last June was one of the highest on record for gun sales. The 3rd highest in fact. What may not come as a surprise to many of you is that in whole firearm sales are dropping. Some important questions to ask may be: How much are gun sales dropping? At what rate? And what are firearm manufacturers doing to combat this?
American Outdoor Brands has experienced their fair share of sales woes this year as one example. We reported on Citibank limiting gun sales back in March. Unions have sued Colt, Freedom Munitions has filed for bankruptcy protection, Ruger laid off 50 employees this year and Dick’s Sporting Goods enjoys making up their own laws in their free time.
If you have not noticed, it has been a crazy and tumultuous year in the firearms industry and we are only halfway through. To give a better perspective as to where the industry may currently be at we can take a look at some of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) check statistics because we all know the numbers never lie… or do they?
The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) compiled the following bar graphs to more easily understand recent gun sales.
The June 2018 NSSF-adjusted National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) figure of 892,479 is a decrease of 12.2% compared to the June 2017 NSSF-adjusted NICS figure of 1,016,213.
Still, it is the 3rd highest June, as adjusted by NSSF, since the NICS system was put into place nearly 20 years ago.
For comparison, the un-adjusted June 2018 FBI NICS figure 1,912,838 reflects a 1.3% increase from the un-adjusted FBI NICS figure of 1,888,266 in June 2017.
The 2nd quarter 2018 NSSF-adjusted National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) figure of 2,863,240 reflects a decrease of 8.1% compared to the 3,116,282 figure for 2nd quarter 2017.
One question you might have is: What are adjusted NICS Checks? Well, if you are able to read some of the asterisk cliff notes at the bottom we can sadly blame the FBI. In certain areas of the country, Illinois for example, there is not accurate reporting of NICS Checks. This can inflate the numbers, but it is unsure to what precise degree. The NSSF has tried to account for this discrepancy and they provide what is believed to be the most accurate data we can analyze.
So with sales being generally down, lots of turmoil boiling off in the industry and still recording the 3rd best June sales ever… what are everyone’s thoughts? Is the firearm industry still settling off? Are we gearing up for another jump? Is this decline just the tip of the iceberg? Let us know in the comments because we would love to hear your thoughts!