U.S. Firearm Sales Down In 2018 According To NSSF

    firearm sales by NSSF

    National Shooting Sports Foundation Logo

    The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has released its estimates on firearm sales in 2018. While the overall numbers have fallen for the second straight year, it wasn’t as sharp a decline as it was in 2017. The NSSF bases their estimates in the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). They also adjust for lower numbers as the NICS checks aren’t used strictly for firearm sales. The non-adjusted NICS numbers can be seen here. The FBI has been tracking NICS checks since 1998 when the system was implemented.

    According to Reuters and the NSSF, firearm sales were down 6.1 percent, with about 13.1 million firearms sold in 2018. That number is still down from 2017 sales at 14 million. As some recall, 2016 saw record numbers of firearms sold at 15.7 million.  Between the past two years, a 16.5 percent drop in sales is noticeable, however, even with the continued drop, 2018 still claimed the third highest year for firearms sales. It should also be noted that these estimates only account for firearms sold from, or through (some states require NICS checks even for private sales) a licensed firearm dealer. The number of private sales on the used market are impossible to estimate in states that don’t require background checks on private sales.

    firearm sales ATF form 4473

    Explanation of ATF form 4473. Image from guncurious.wordpress.com

    Reuters news agency reported Trisha Kinney, the owner of Blue Collar Firearms in Colton, California, noticed a 14 percent increase in new-gun sales. As long as this trend isn’t restricted to Colton, CA, this should be good news to the firearm industry as it continues to try to meet the consumer’s needs and wants. In recent years, some of the gun industry’s leaders have been noted to have listened to customer requests, pleads and demands and produced guns based on those suggestions, which could account for the increase in new firearms sales.

    What kinds of trends are you seeing when it comes to firearm sales?

    Doug E

    Doug has been a firearms enthusiast since age 16 after getting to shoot with a friend. Since then he’s taken many others out to the range for their first time. He is a husband, father, grandfather, police officer, outdoorsman, artist and a student of history. Doug has been a TFB reader from the start and is happy to be a contributor of content. Doug can be reached at battleshipgrey61 AT gmail DOT com.