Gun Background-Checks Reveal Firearms Demand Slumped After COVID Mania
Fears over the virus pandemic and social unrest in the last several years ignited demand for guns to unprecedented levels. Back then, the FBI’s monthly background checks, part of the process to purchase a firearm, soared to new monthly highs. Now the latest background check data shows the gun-buying craze wanes, though it remains elevated.
According to data from the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), unadjusted criminal background checks slid 12% to 2.67 million in January. Compared with 2022 figures, background checks increased by 3.2% from 2.59 million. However, NICS checks were down 43% from 4.69 million (a record high) in March 2021.
For this time of year, the 2.67 million figure is the third highest January ever. The only other times the FBI ran this many background checks on people who wanted to purchase firearms for the month of January was in 2020 and 2021.
Recall NICS background check data is a proxy for gun sales because there is no national database tracking firearms purchases. The data continues to confirm the mania phase of gun buying has subsided though interest in guns is above average.
Gun buying might be elevated because of out-of-control crime in liberal metro areas or President Biden threatening to ban semi-automatic rifles.
Meanwhile, Smith & Wesson Brands, one of the country’s largest firearms manufacturers, has seen shares tumble 50% since the blowoff top in the gun mania phase in mid-2021.
Data from Ammo Prices Now shows the most popular caliber for home defense has plunged since the mania a few years ago.
So what (or who) will cause the next panic buying of firearms? Will it be Biden?
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