The National Shooting Sports Foundation has released their adjusted-NICS check statistics for February. Contrary to what I thought might happen, February 2013 checks were up 29.1% over the same period in 2012.
The February 2013 NSSF-adjusted National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) figure of 1,634,309 is an increase of 29.1 percent over the NSSF-adjusted NICS figure of 1,266,344 in February 2012. For comparison, the unadjusted February 2013 NICS figure of 2,298,561 reflects a 32.5 percent increase from the unadjusted NICS figure of 1,734,646 in February 2012.This marks the 33rd straight month with increases in NSSF-adjusted NICS checks over the same period in the prior year.
I had thought perhaps low inventories might have broken this string of increases but obviously not. In retrospect, visits to both small and large gun shops in the Piedmont Triad area of North Carolina should have told me that. In the early part of February I visited two small gun stores in the Kernersville area that were packed even though the inventory was down. I also visited the Winston-Salem Gander Mountain which actually had a decent inventory. That store was also crowded.
As always, it should be noted that there is not a direct correlation between NICS checks and gun sales. This is because a few states such as Kentucky and Iowa use the National Instant Criminal Background Check System for CCW purposes. Moreover, in a number of states such as North Carolina, a concealed carry permit is accepted as a substitute for a NICS check.