What A Surprise! Gun Sales Hit The Skids Under Trump.

Want to make a million in the gun business? Start with two million.  It’s an old joke but it has a ring of truth to it because even though guns have been selling like hot cakes since you-know-who moved into the White House in 2009, now that he’s moved out, everyone’s predicting that the gun business will slow down.  And the problem with the gun business is that it’s always been boom-or-bust, driven primarily by the possibility that we won’t be able to get our hands on any more guns.

gun-sales        So when Trump pulled off the unthinkable on November 8th, given the fact that he had made gun-control (or I should say, less gun control) a central feature of his campaign, it was clear that the mad rush to stockpile guns during the Obama regime would come to an end. How much of an end?  The numbers so far are much worse than what people thought might occur.

Before I get into the bad news (or the good news, depending on your point of view,) I have to explain how to figure out how many guns are actually sold. Since more than 90% of the guns sold in the U.S. come from companies that are privately owned, we can’t get any kind of valid numbers from the gun makers themselves, but the FBI-NICS background check is extremely reliable for telling us how many new guns have been sold.

In that regard, a funny thing happened to new gun sales in January – they didn’t go down, they collapsed.  The drop in sales from December wasn’t in the nature of 20%, which is what the experts are saying will be the story for 2017; it was more like a drop of 50%, and I don’t ever recall something like that ever happening before. In that regard, Breitbart’s gun ‘expert,’ AWR Hawkins, got it all wrong when he said that background checks needed to be viewed with caution because since every purchase could represent multiple guns, 3 million checks could mean that 6 million new guns were purchased. Except that the monthly NICS report contains a separate category for multiple guns covered by the same call.

In December, 2016 the NICS call center logged 2,763,115 calls.  In January, 2017 total calls were 2,032,108.  Hold on you say, that’s only a decline of 26%, which happens to be, by the way, the biggest month-to-month drop since December-January, 2015-2016. But there’s only one little problem: of the slightly more than 2 million calls in January, more than one million were calls for license checks, pawn redemptions and private sales.  In fact, January 2017 marked the first time that calls for background checks on over-the-counter purchases were less than half the total calls handled by NICS. Gun sale checks were 976,341, which meant the month-to-month calls for background checks on gun sales dropped by nearly 55%.

Neither the NRA nor the NSSF has let out a peep about the January NICS numbers, as opposed to previous months when they couldn‘t wait to let everyone know that background checks for gun sales kept going up. If this trend continues, gun sales are to go back to where they were at the beginning of 2012, before Sandy Hook and before Obama got on his high horse about regulating guns.

No wonder Wayne-o went to CPAC and pledged that the NRA would become the first line of defense against violent, left-wing thugs. After all, if Trump gets his way with immigration, we won’t have all those undocumented, criminally-disposed ‘illegals’ top kick around any more. And unless Gun-nut Nation can come up with a new threat to hearth and home, it may not be long until the shrunken January gun numbers will be a pleasant memory compared to what gun sales might really become.

Wouldn’t it be funny if the NRA is secretly funding Obama’s ‘secret coup?’

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5 thoughts on “What A Surprise! Gun Sales Hit The Skids Under Trump.

  1. Mike, If the fear of confiscation is perhaps the most important factor driving gun sales (both up and down), does this not indicate that a large proportion of sales continue to be to the same core group of owners as opposed to new owners? After all, new owners are likely to be driven by a concern about their personal security rather than by the person occupying the White House.

  2. Sorry to change the subject, Mike, but perhaps Wayne-O should offer free self defense classes to Indian green card holders and Americans of Indian ancestry. Not to mention, send out free issues of the American Rifleman to all gun shops with a special cover reminding folks that it ain’t open season on Folks With Different Complexions Than Yours.

    Frankly, after last week, I am a little worried as I married into an Indian-American family and these far right jokers can’t seem to figure out if they are shooting Indians or Middle Easterners like Yours Truly. So since Indians are generally of darker complexion than Iranians et al, they seem to be more likely targets since most of these redneck yahoos can’t tell a turban from a kaffiyeh.

    Sat up two hours Sunday morning wondering if I should worry about this. I like my Beretta Px4, but don’t generally put it on with my socks in the morning.

    • Khal, your concerns are certainly legitimate. The new administration has unleashed forces that will be hard to reverse once they are long gone (hopefully, sooner rather than later as far as I’m concerned).

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