The National Shooting Sports Foundation adjusted NICS background check numbers are out for the month of June. They show a 3% increase over the month of June 2012. This marks the 37th straight month in which the NSSF-adjusted NICS figures have increased.
The June 2013 NSSF-adjusted National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) figure of 872,025 is an increase of 3.0 percent over the NSSF-adjusted NICS figure of 846,437 in June 2012. For comparison, the unadjusted June 2013 NICS figure of 1,270,817 reflects a 1.5 percent decrease from the unadjusted NICS figure of 1,290,210 in June 2012.
Note however that that unadjusted NICS numbers do show a decrease. I think we are starting to see the post-Newtown buying panic beginning to subside. My trips to the sporting goods department at my local Walmart have shown a gradual increase in the number of firearms available. In January, you might have found the odd shotgun or .22LR rifle. This past weekend at this Walmart I saw Colt, Bushmaster, and Windham Weaponry AR-15s along with a full complement of more traditional hunting rifles and shotguns. The gun case was full but the ammo supply were still virtually nonexistent.
It could be that we’ve reached a new plateau. Even if it is a plateau, the absolute number of firearms being sold are much greater than it was just two or three years ago. It will be interesting to see what July and August numbers show.
As always, I should caution that NICS background checks should be considered an indicator of trends and not sales. They are not a perfect correlation with firearms sales as several states use them for background checks on both new and active concealed carry permit holders.