The National Instant background Check System (NICS) checks performed in August, 2018 numbered 2,073,296. This is the highest number for August since NICS was started in 1998. The NICS checks for August of 1999, the first on record, were 703,394.
The previous record for August was last year, in 2017, when NICS checks totaled 1,925,146. The 2018 checks are a 7.7% increase over last years.
More and more of NICS checks are being used for purposes other than firearm purchases. In August of 2018, 1,059,500 checks were done for permits or permit rechecks. Some of the permit checks are done to permit gun sales.
For example, the state of Hawaii shows 8,458 permit checks and zero firearms sales checks. All other states and territories show both permit checks and firearms checks.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has adjusted the NICS numbers to remove the permit checks and rechecks. Aside from Hawaii, it is a good indicator of firearm sales.
The NSSF numbers show that firearm sales are in healthy, but not record territory. Remember that people with permits to carry weapons can purchase firearms without going through an additional NICS check in half (25) of the states. There are over 17 million permits to carry in existence in the United States.
With the August numbers, the number of NICS checks done for the first eight months of 2018 totals 17,2011,932. This compares to17,951,806 NICS checks for the same period in the all time record year of 2016. The 2018 numbers are the second highest on record so far, at 96% of the the numbers from 2016 for the same period.
Historically, there have been about .6 firearms added to the private stock in the United States for each NICS check. The number dropped a little to about .56 more private firearms for each NICS check, recently.
If the .56 number holds, there will have been over 10 million more firearms added to the private stock in 2018 so far, reaching a total of 427 million firearms in the United States at the end of August. If the trend continues, there will be over 430 million private firearms in the United States at the end of the year.
©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.