February 02, 2022
With record gun sales over the past few years, many observers wondered if the trend would fade as we entered 2022. The answer, based on figures just released by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), is no.
Mark Oliva, director of public affairs for NSSF, reports that while January numbers were down substantially from last January, background checks for the sale of new firearms have topped 1 million in a single month for the 30th month in a row. Last January, incidentally, had three of the top 10 weeks since records have been kept.
“The firearm industry is coming off two record-setting years of firearm purchases and sustained production to meet that increased demand,” Oliva said. “While everyone is looking for what the ‘new’ normal will be coming off those outsized years of background checks for the purchase of a gun, January’s figure of nearly 1.2 million shows that America’s demand for lawful gun ownership continues at a healthy and sustainable pace.”
Such a high January number bodes well for not only the industry at large, but also for the strength of the Second Amendment movement since it’s likely that many of those 1.2 million were first-time gun buyers. According to industry figures, 8.4 million Americans purchased their first firearm in 2020, and another 3.2 million Americans purchased a gun for the first time in 2021, resulting in nearly 14 million people practicing their Second Amendment right for the first time.
Though not a direct correlation to firearms sales, the NSSF-adjusted NICS data provide an additional picture of current market conditions. In addition to other purposes, NICS is used to check transactions for sales or transfers of new or used firearms.
Freelance writer and editor Mark Chesnut is the owner/editorial director at Red Setter Communications LLC. An avid hunter, shooter and political observer, he has been covering Second Amendment issues and politics on a near-daily basis for more than 20 years.