Here’s something to delight all of us who equate more guns with more freedom and more safety.
The FBI has just released figures which show that calls to their ‘instant check’ NICS background checking service (necessary as part of buying a gun from a dealer) were higher on Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) this year than on any other day, ever, since they first started their NICS service back in 1998.
This new record was a very decisive one, too. The total calls – 129,166 – were 32% higher than the previous highest number (Black Friday of 2008).
For the entire month of November, NICS calls were 16.5% up on November last year, and already in the first 11 months of this year, there have been more NICS calls than in all of 2010. Total NICS calls for 2011 will be nearly twice as many as was the case not even ten years ago.
At the risk of getting boring and technical, I should explain that a call to NICS is not the same as a new gun being sold. One single call and request for NICS approval can sometimes be for a person buying multiple guns in a single transaction. So that would suggest that more guns are sold than the count of NICS calls.
But not all NICS calls are for gun sales. For example, many states will also get a NICS clearance before issuing a concealed weapons permit. So that requires a negative adjustment down from the NICS total.
The National Sports Shooting Association estimates that overall many fewer guns are sold than NICS calls are made, so perhaps the 129,166 calls represents ‘only’ 100,000 new guns sold on Black Friday.
But whatever you do with the numbers, the unavoidable twin truths (unavoidable unless you’re a gun-hater, of course) are that gun sales continue to steadily trend upward, while violent crime figures continue to drop, continuing the trend we analyzed in our article back in May – Gun Sales Continue to Increase, Crime Rates Continue to Decrease.
No wonder that there is a general increase in people supporting gun ownership.