November sees 16.5% increase in firearms sales checks over same month last year; 18th straight month over month increase
Black Friday sales record plays a part
The November 2011 NSSF-adjusted National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) figure of 1,101,076 is an increase of 16.5 percent over the NSSF-adjusted NICS figure of 945,463 in November 2010. For comparison, the unadjusted November 2011 NICS figure of 1,527,454 reflects an 18.7 percent increase from the unadjusted NICS figure of 1,286,817 in November 2010.
This marks the eighteenth straight month that NSSF-adjusted NICS figures have increased when compared to the same period the previous year.
The adjusted NICS data were derived by NSSF research by subtracting out NICS purpose code permit checks used by several states such as Kentucky, Iowa and Utah for CCW permit application checks as well as checks on active CCW permit databases.
Though not a direct correlation to firearms sales, the NSSF-adjusted NICS data provide a more accurate picture of current market conditions. In addition to other purposes, NICS is used to check transactions of firearms sales and transfers on new and used handguns and long guns.
USA Today - Guns are a big seller on Black Friday
In addition to the sleek flat-screen televisions, smartphones, computers and cut-rate designer clothing, Black Friday's shopping legions seized on another hot item for 2011: guns.
Gun dealers flooded the FBI with background check requests for prospective buyers last Friday, smashing the single-day, all-time high by 32%, according to bureau records.
Deputy Assistant FBI Director Jerry Pender said the checks, required by federal law, surged to 129,166 during the day, far surpassing the previous high of 97,848 on Black Friday of 2008.
The actual number of firearms sold last Friday is likely higher because multiple firearms can be included in a transaction by a single buyer. And the FBI does not track actual gun sales.
Some gun industry analysts attributed the unusual surge to a convergence of factors, including an increasing number of first-time buyers seeking firearms for protection and women who are being drawn to sport shooting and hunting.
Larry Keane, a spokesman for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, said 25% of the purchases typically involve first-time buyers, many of them women.
"Whereas five years ago it was politically incorrect (to own guns), ... what seems to be changing is social acceptance," said Bret Jordan, analyst at investment firm Avondale Partners. "I think there might be a changing view of firearms."
Jordan said the industry saw a surge in gun purchases around the time of the last presidential election, apparently because hunters and other enthusiasts feared President Barack Obama would push for more gun-control laws or stronger restrictions.
"When Obama was elected, I think people rushed out and stocked up on their tactical rifles," Jordan said, referring to military-style weapons that were potential targets of legislative restrictions.
More recently, though, the focus has switched to handguns. In spite of the economic downturn, "The category of firearm that has continued to sell very well is something one would have if they were concerned about their personal safety," Jordan said.
"The general trend is it's more socially acceptable to own a gun in the United States than it was five to six years ago," he said.
WCMH (NBC Columbus) - More People Consider Giving Firearms As Gifts
Vance Outdoors, Inc., is a local shop on Cleveland Avenue.
Manager Chris McLauren says guns are definitely a popular gift, especially weapons sized for concealed carry, which account for one-third of all sales.
Chris Mayfield is a Vance customer who has owned a concealed weapon for a year.
The Canal Winchester resident is considering buying one for his father for Christmas.
"I think everyone should be able to [carry a concealed weapon] because a bad guy's not going to care if it's legal or not," said Mayfield.
..."If they are able to defend themselves at a moment's notice, they will have a better chance than if they have to call 911, because 911 is going to take several minutes to respond. So it's going to be up to them to do the job of protecting themselves," McLauren said.
..."It's just a nice way to show you care and give somebody something they might be able to use to protect their lives," McLauren said.