Gun Sales Boom: Great, but Why?

Gun Sales Boom: Great, but Why?

Few things make for a jolly holiday atmosphere around SGN as much as hearing that gun sales are up. When advertisers are happy, we're happy. And advertisers should be exceptionally happy this season.

The FBI reported the greatest number of NICS (National Instant Check System) checks on record in December, with more than 1.5 million. Dealers requested 102,222 background checks Dec. 23, the second-busiest day in history. The record went to the day after Thanksgiving, at 129,166 checks. The previous one-day high was set November 28, 2008, when gun dealers requested almost 98,000 background checks.

Since the NICS program began in 1998, more than 130 million checks have been made, with a rejection rate around 1%. Whether it's cost-effective to investigate 99 law-abiding potential buyers to catch one scofflaw can certainly be debated. But up to now, at least, the NICS check has not been a major bottleneck in gun sales.


Speed apparently hasn't been much of a problem, either: the FBI claims an average time for a reply at 6.37 seconds in 2010, down from 8.75 in 2008 (www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/nics/reports/2010-operations-report/2010-operations-report-pdf).


So lots of people are buying lots of guns, and getting what appears to be good service from the FBI. Why? What's driving all these sales?

In the mainstream media, the usual suspects were asked the usual questions, and delivered the usual answers. The most common explanation was fear of crime, even though crime is lower in many categories than it has been in memory.

That was followed up by fear of stiffer gun laws, even though Republicans seem poised to retain control of the House and possibly to retake the Senate. And while the Obama Administration has nibbled around the edges of gun control with executive initiatives like Operation Fast & Furious, it has made no overt moves to restrict firearms.

Anti-gun organizations took a new tack, claiming fewer people are buying more guns, which very well may be true, but so what?


I'm going to propose a different explanation. When have you seen guns more prominently represented in popular culture? A quick look at your cable TV listings shows NRA Guns & Gold, Sons of Guns, Student of the GunTop Shot, Triggers, and many more, including Intermedia fare like Guns & Ammo TV and Personal Defense TV.

I think you'd have to go back to the 1950s to find a time when guns were so ubiquitous. And the gun industry is bigger, more aggressive and more creative than it's ever been in my more than 35 years as part of it.

So if you've gotten a gun recently, for yourself or someone else, what was the reason?


1. Fear of crime

2. Fear of Obama

3. No fear at all: just wanted one

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Transcoded: FANIssue11-SpringfieldEdgeEVAC

Transcoded: FANIssue11-SpringfieldEdgeEVAC

Patrick Sweeney of Firearms News shows off the Springfield Edge AR pistol with a folding arm brace.

Shooting the 20mm Lahti

Shooting the 20mm Lahti

David Fortier had the chance to fire the Lahti L-39 while filming the 2018 season of Guns&AmmoTV while on location at DriveTanks.com.

Hornady Kestrel 5700 Ballistics Weather Meter with Hornady 4DOF

Hornady Kestrel 5700 Ballistics Weather Meter with Hornady 4DOF

The Hornady Kestrel 5700 combines complete onsite environmental measurements with Hornady 4DOF trajectory solutions.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

This will be the first of many investigative reports about the NRA by Firearms News. 2nd Amendment

Firearms News Investigates the NRA: Part 1

Nedd Scott - July 18, 2019

This will be the first of many investigative reports about the NRA by Firearms News.

A $50 Ring Loc-Kit gives AirForce Condor airgunners unparalleled power and accuracy. Air Guns

AirForce Airguns Condor Ring-Loc Kit Review

Tom Gaylord - May 29, 2019

A $50 Ring Loc-Kit gives AirForce Condor airgunners unparalleled power and accuracy.

Rhode Islanders are setting brushfires for freedom once again as they advance a Second Amendment Sanctuary Town movement. 2nd Amendment

SPECIAL REPORT: BIG 2A HISTORY BEING MADE IN LITTLE RHODE ISLAND

John Peterson - May 22, 2019

Rhode Islanders are setting brushfires for freedom once again as they advance a Second...

Governor Northam is calling a special session of the General Assembly on Tuesday, July 9th, to do nothing but pass more gun control! 2nd Amendment

Virginia Governor Northam Declares War on Gun Owners

Virginia Citizens Defense League - July 09, 2019

Governor Northam is calling a special session of the General Assembly on Tuesday, July 9th, to...

See More Trending Articles

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW OUR CURRENT ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get Digital Access.

All Firearms News subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now