by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
There’s no denying it: Americans still value gun ownership.
The total number of firearm background checks conducted on Nov. 29, 2019, was 202,465. That is the second-highest single day for the FBI National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) in history, dating back to 1998 when NICS was implemented. It also represents an 11 percent increase over last year’s Black Friday total.
The high-water mark occurred in 2017, with 203,086 checks. This year’s total was just 622 shy of that record. Checks for the entire month of November 2019 totaled 1,342,155, a 2.1 percent increase over November 2018.
This continues this year’s trend of near-record monthly background checks for retail firearms sales. The FBI reports NICS figures monthly, and the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the firearms industry’s trade association, adjusts those figures to remove checks not associated with transferring a firearm to provide a more accurate proxy for firearms sales. NSSF-adjusted NICS data has shown an increase year over year for the past three months.
Black Friday also revealed guns are hot items. Americans are voting with their wallets as politicians on the national stage and in some states have become increasingly vocal about restricting Second Amendment rights.
Buying firearms is a significant investment. It’s not a financial decision made on a whim. Americans are investing their hard-earned dollars to buy the firearms they want before gun-grabbing politicians attempt to regulate away their rights.
This isn’t a “bitter clinger” moment. The trend line shows that as gun control politicians continue to assail on gun rights, Americans don’t get wary. They buy guns.