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Trump Era NICS: February 2017 Third Highest on Record

Posted on March 8, 2017 by Dean Weingarten

By Dean Weingarten

Dean Weingarten
Dean Weingarten

Arizona – -(

The National Instant background Check System, (NICS), showed that the numbers for February, 2017 were 2,234,817. That is the third highest number of NICS checks for any February. The highest was in 2016, with 2,613,074. The second highest February was in 2013, with 2,309,393. Both of those were driven by fear of strong gun control measures that might be passed by President Obama and Congress.

The Trump era of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) checks is off to a good start. There have been four presidents that have had NICS checks done while they were in office.

There were two years and two months of NICS checks under President Clinton. They totaled 18,574,000 checks. During that period the NICS system was clarified. Court challenges restricted how the checks were done and how long they could be stored.

They were done for the full eight years of the two terms of President Bush, totaling 77 million checks. 34,533,772 in the first term and 42,876,236 in the second term. The numbers surged after 9/11.

They were done for the full eight years of the two terms of President Obama, totaling 157 million checks. 64,490,694 in the first term, and 92,742,463 in the second term. Numbers reached new records as several restrictions on gun ownership and sales circulated among the states and were championed by the Democrat party and President Obama.

It was anticipated that firearm sales and NICS checks would drop with a Trump presidency. The urgency of firearms purchases grew with fear of infringements on firearms ownership by a President Hillary Clinton. The fear of a Hillary Clinton Supreme Court hostile to the Second Amendment, also boosted sales.

NICS checks remain unexpectedly strong under President Trump. January 2017 NICS were 80% of January 2016 NICS. February 2017 NICS were 85% of 2016 numbers.

The unhinged unwillingness to accept a Trump Presidency by the left, with attendant riots and violence, could be a motivation for higher firearm sales.

Unreasonable fear of a Trump Presidency from the left could boost sales as well. Some Hillary and Bernie supporters have been reported as buying firearms. Pundit s on the Internet have suggested that a new appreciation of the value of the Second Amendment may occur to Democrat voters.

Structural increases in the number of firearms owners may have increased the base level of sales. Increased production of .22 rimfire ammunition might be boosting sales of guns in that popular caliber.

There has been a gradual increase in the use of NICS for things other than firearm sales. We will not know how much that is until the BATF figures come out in about two years. The increases are for such transactions as the sales of suppressors/silencer, gun carry permits, and even checks on school teachers.

Kentucky has contributed to the number by running NICS checks on every concealed carry permit holder every month. Kentucky performs nearly three million checks every year.

The average ratio over 15 years is a little less than .6 NICS checks for each firearm added to the private stock.

If that ratio holds true, about 2.5 million guns were added in the first two months of 2017.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

Link to Gun Watch

About Dean Weingarten;

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.