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January 2018 NICS data reveals continuing drop in background checks and gun sales

January 2018 Background Checks

The FBI has recently released the official FBI NICS Background Check data for January 2018 and it looks like the country’s gun sales are continuing its steady decline. According to the recently published data, estimated firearms sales last month fell by 8 percent. Dealers across the country managed to process approximately 2,030,530 applications through the NICS system last month, which is down by 12,654 checks or less than 1 percent when compared to last year.

When comparing the recent figure to data from 2 years ago, January’s background checks are actually down by 515,272 applications or a huge drop of 20.24 percent.  Last month was apparently also the slowest January for gun sales ever recorded since 2012. Upon further investigation of the data, it can be seen that majority of the drop can be attributed to background checks involving handguns. Handgun related checks dropped by more than 60,000 compared to last year. The type of firearm is usually the gun of choice for beginners and new shooters, which means that the data could indicate the continued decline in the interest of citizens wanting to arm themselves.

January 2018 NICS Data

It has to be noted that the numbers shown in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System aren’t indicative of individual purchases. Other transactions such as concealed carry permits, license renewal, pawn redemption, rentals, and periodic rechecks are also included. However, the figures are still a good indicator of the health of the firearm industry as it gives a rough estimate of the number of sales being made across the country.

Due to its continued decline, share prices for companies in the gun manufacturing industry suffered massive blows over the week. Companies such as Smith & Wesson and American Outdoor Brands fell by 6 percent earlier in the week. Sturm, Ruger, and Co. stock prices plummeted by 3.5 percent, while Vista Outdoor prices fell by 1.9 percent.

Some analysts have blamed Trump’s administration for the continued decline in gun sales. President Trump is very much supportive of second amendment rights, which means that citizens no longer have the need to stockpile firearms.

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