U.S. Gun Sales Pass One Million Mark for 43rd Month in a Row in February – Though sales are down from their record highs of 2020 and 2021, guns are still in hot demand based on the latest retail data and FBI background checks.
According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the firearm industry trade association, sales of firearms surpassed 1.3 million units in February – even with fewer days on the calendar.
Moreover, sales had declined just 0.6 percent compared to February 2022 – based on NSSF-adjusted data from the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). Though not a direct correlation to gun sales, the NSSF-adjusted NICS data provide an additional picture of current market conditions.
February was the 43rd month in a row to see gun sales exceed a million units.
“Over 1.3 million background checks were conducted for the sale of a firearm in February, holding steady with the figure from one year ago,” Mark Oliva, NSSF’s director of public affairs, told reporters via a statement.
“This is demonstrative of a steady appetite for Americans from all walks of life to exercise their Second Amendment right to lawful firearm ownership. Certain politicians choose twisted narratives to demonize firearm ownership instead of confronting the criminal elements in our communities. Figures like these, month after month, show us that Americans reject that rhetoric and are choosing to protect themselves and participate in the rich heritage of the shooting sports.”
In addition, whilst guns sales surged during the pandemic, the more than the three-year period that has seen more than one million units sold monthly actually began in July 2019.
The gun sales boom clearly isn’t over.
Credit Card Companies Reverse Course on Gun Sales
Last week, Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover announced they would pause their plan to implement a new merchant category code for the nation’s gun retailers after political pressure from Republicans, CNN reported.
That measure had been designed to help flag potential mass shooters and gun traffickers – and came following a few high-profile mass shootings. Advocates had suggested it would help track suspicious transactions of firearms and ammunition and could even flag potential mass shooters.
Two dozen Republican attorneys general had warned the credit card companies that month that they should not go ahead with their plans.
The NSSF also suggested the codes were the product of Amalgamated Bank and Andrew Ross Sorkin to specifically track the lawful purchases of firearms and ammunition by law-abiding Americans.
“In reality, it is just the first step, by the admission of these two parties, to isolating and eventually denying the exercise of a Constitutional right by those who oppose lawful firearm ownership,” the trade group said via a statement. “NSSF will continue to work with state legislators and Congress to put an end to this blatantly discriminatory practice of using private enterprise to construct a back-door firearm registry.”
It noted this is a pause, not an abandonment of the implementation of special codes.
Author Experience and Expertise:
A Senior Editor for 19FortyFive, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,200 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, politics, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.