By Dave Workman
The surge in background checks, suggesting continued strong sales of firearms at retail gun shops, continued in February as more than 2 million check requests were submitted to the National Instant Check System (NICS).
According to CNS News, December set a record with 2,783,765 background checks. January came in second with 2,495,440 checks and February saw 2,309,393 background checks, making it the third busiest month on record since checks began in November 1998.
The NSSF reported that the “NSSF-adjusted” background check figure for February was 1,634,309, an increase of 29.1 percent over the February 2012 checks. Yet NSSF noted that the “unadjusted” February number was 2,298,561, a discrepancy of 832 checks between its numbers and the NICS figures.
It began in November 2012 when 2,006,919 NICS checks were conducted and the “Black Friday” checksa broke a record.
Since the NICS system went on line, only four months have seen more than 2 million checks, and they all happened after Barack Obama was re-elected last fall. CNS News noted that the ten top days and weeks for background checks have all occurred during Obama’s presidency.
Since November 1998, according to FBI figures more than 165,279,535 background checks have been completed.
While the NICS figures do not represent the total number of firearms transactions, the data does suggest that gun control groups face an uphill battle in their attempt to push so-called “common-sense solutions to reduce gun violence.”
NSSF issues monthly reports on background checks using “adjusted” data, and the numbers have consistently been creeping higher for the past couple of years.
The current surge was ignited by a combination of factors, it appears. Obama’s re-election in November started the trend, and talk of banning so-called “assault weapons” and their standard capacity magazines that erupted following the Sandy Hook tragedy added momentum to the buying spree.
Gun shop shelves across the country quickly emptied of rifles and carbines based on the AR-15 platform, and magazine sales have been brisk. Ammunition has also been selling strong for the past few months.