Firearms Sales Are Up
In 2010, Americans bought well over 14 million new firearms, according to the FBI’s NICS (National Instant Criminal Background Check System) database. The official number may be higher since the NICS only does one check per buyer, even if a buyer has purchased multiple firearms. Reported numbers may also be affected by the fact that some small fraction of the new gun purchases were replacements for firearms that have been lost, destroyed or rendered unusable in some way.
Who’s buying these guns? Far less than one percent of the FBI’s background checks uncovered evidence of criminal activity, indicating that, overwhelmingly, American gun owners are law abiding citizens.
While 2011 statistics haven’t yet been completely compiled, the monthly totals that are available from that year give every indication that last year’s gun sales will be even higher. In November 2011, for example, firearm sales were up 16.5 percent over November 2010 sales. In fact, “Black Friday,” the day after Thanksgiving and the busiest retail sales day of the year, marked a new record for American firearm purchases with over 129,000 firearms sold.
Whether shooting to hunt, arming themselves for protection or simply shooting for sport, gun owners are pretty loyal to their firearms. In that sense, it’s no surprise that sales are up. Because gun enthusiasts are pretty darn enthusiastic.