Monday, June 10, 2013

Three Years And Counting

May 2013 became the 36th straight month - or three full years - in which the NSSF-adjusted NICS check figures topped the same period in the preceding year.
The May 2013 NSSF-adjusted National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) figure of 974,457 is an increase of 15.9 percent over the NSSF-adjusted NICS figure of 840,412 in May 2012. For comparison, the unadjusted May 2013 NICS figure of 1,424,450 reflects a 9.1 percent increase from the unadjusted NICS figure of 1,305,392 in May 2012.
While the NICS checks are not a direct correlation with sales, they are an indicator of trends. The National Instant Criminal Background Check System is also used by a number of states for concealed carry permit background checks for both new and active permits.

There are many anecdotal reports that a good part of current gun sales are from first time buyers. If this is indeed the case - and I've come to believe it is - then this is not a bubble but a shift in the demand curve.

This could also explain the scarcity of ammo. If I were to buy a new 9mm pistol, I have ammo for it that I've bought over the years. I don't have to run out to Walmart, my local gun store, or go online right away to get ammo. However, if someone who has never owned a gun now buys one, he or she will need ammo for it. In the past week, I stopped into two Walmarts that were over 100 miles apart. Both had a decent selection of rifles and shotguns. Neither of them had any ammo in the more common calibers even though they have restrictions on the amount one can buy.


  1. I agree that part of the reason is the total amount of New Shooters that have decided to use their RKBA. But we also have to add the OLD Shooters who decided to "Restock," and/or bought additional Firearms "Just in Case."

    I'm seeing the supply of Firearms returning to normal levels up here on the North Coast, but prices are still higher than one would expect. But they are available.

    But the Ammo Shortage just isn't ending.

  2. I've pretty much given up on Walmart as a source of ammunition. Reps from all three (three!) stores in our town have said their re-stock shipments are "as random as [we]'ve ever seen", both in terms of what they get and when they get it (and the "what" usually isn't much; their ENTIRE shipment in one instance was three boxes - boxes mind you, not cases - of .45).

    The local Big 5, while a bit spendier, shelves their ammo deliveries Thursday night; they have it ready to sell at 9 am Friday morning. There's a line out the door at opening time, it's gone within a couple hours (even with the standard 3-box limit), and there's no way to accurately predict what they'll have, but at least we know when to check.