Friday, June 1, 2012
Gun background checks up as are gun exports
Guns are cool and they’re flying off dealers’ shelves.
So much so that record-breaking sales of firearms of all kinds are the new norm as the numbers of people going through the mandated federal background check.
Using statistic provided by the federal government, the firearms industry-based National Shooting Sports Foundation reports that the required NICS firearm-background-checks figure of 1,266,344 is an increase of 31.4 percent over the 963,746 background checks conducted in Feb., 2011.
These figures are adjusted to more accurately reflect actual firearm sales, since some NICS checks are performed for states that use NICS to qualify people for concealed carry permits and for other purposes, says the Foundation.
However, the numbers are not precise sales figures, says the Foundation, with the reason being that one NICS check can be used for multiple purchases.
Also, some people, who after under-going a check, decide not to complete a purchase. Without the adjustments carefully performed by NSSF, the figures would be different.
For example, says the Foundation, the unadjusted February 2012 NICS count is 1,734,646 background checks, an 18.6 percent increase from the unadjusted NICS figure of 1,463,138 in February 2011.
Don’t let the caveats and figures make your head spin, though.
Fact of the matter is that 1.7 million Americans sought guns or gun-related actions in a single month.
Likewise, says the Foundation, February marked the 21st straight month that Foundation-adjusted NICS figures have increased when compared to the same period the previous year.
And icing on the cake for ammunition manufacturers is exportation of handguns. In that category exportations jumped 65.6 percent from 10,557 to 17,487 units.
Within this handgun category, pistol export units increased 72.2 percent from 9,362 to 16,594 units though imported revolver units dipped 25.3 percent from 1,195 to 893 units.
It should come as no surprise either that the buying trend of handgun purchasers is shifting away from revolvers and to semi-automatic firearms.
As for rifle exports they were up 4.6 percent from 16,768 to 17,544 units.
And shotgun category posted a 19.2 percent increase in exported units from 11,502 to 13,705.
Even the muzzle-loader category experienced a gain, this category up 381.3 percent; from 268 to 1,290 units exported.
The icing on the cake was an increase in the amount of ammunition exported. The Foundation says that overall U.S. exports (in units) in six sporting arms and ammunition categories increased 48.5 percent in Jan., 2012 compared to Jan., 2011.
January 2012 exported units in tracked categories totaled 119.0 million, up from 80.2 million reported in Jan., 2011, the Foundation says.
For further details, visit the Foundation’s web site at http://www.nssf.org/research/
- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn