News agencies have been gasping over the weekend revelation that “Black Friday” saw the FBI’s National Instant Check System (NICS) receive 203,086 requests for background checks relating to firearms sales, a new record that eclipsed last year’s 185,713 NICS checks.
That’s a 10 percent increase.
It is news that makes the gun prohibition lobby shudder because instead of slumping gun sales and lower interest in owning firearms, there still appears to be a healthy interest in exercising the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. One newspaper report sensationalized the NICS check activity by suggesting that Americans bought enough guns on Friday “to arm the Marine Corps.”
BREAKING: The Supreme Court on Monday denied petitions for review in two gun rights cases, one challenging Maryland’s ban on so-called “assault weapons” and original capacity magazines, and the other regarding Florida’s open carry law.
All of the reports carry the caveat that “background checks do not indicate the number of guns actually sold because a buyer could purchase more than one gun in a check.” Sometime later on Monday, the National Shooting Sports Foundation may report an adjusted figure, or it may wait until next week, when it makes a monthly announcement.
What emerged from some stories, as illustrated by the report in the Washington Post, is that the media still is confused about the difference between a gun “safety” group and a gun “rights” organization. In discussing the typical aftermath of a high-profile shooting incident, the Post observed: “Gun-safety advocates routinely push for greater restrictions on gun purchases after such shootings… And gun-rights advocates routinely take equally strong stances on the other side of the issue.”
In this context, the “gun safety advocates” are actually gun prohibition lobbying groups. They used to be “gun control” organizations, but since they started pushing for outright bans on whole classes of firearms – specifically modern sporting rifles – that façade has evaporated.
On the other hand, the “gun rights” organizations have traditionally promoted genuine gun safety for generations. The National Rifle Association has a network of thousands of certified firearms instructors who annually provide training to private citizens and law enforcement. No gun control organization does that, nor have they ever.
The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms has advocated for firearms instruction in the public schools.
So, what is fueling the sales surge?
Since Las Vegas and Sutherland Springs, there has been renewed talk about gun control. Such discussions are invariably followed by a public rush to gun stores. Anti-gunners do not appear to have this figured out; if they would remain quiet, sales might not surge.
There is no doubt that many of these sales involve first-time gun buyers. There seems to be an increasing interest in gun ownership among millennials, and a growing number of women are buying guns. Interest in concealed carry is expanding, and this may be in response to the mass shootings because people now realize they are not immune to violent acts by madmen.
Despite reports that some gun companies may be experiencing a slump, Friday’s activity is a strong indicator that people are still buying guns. That should send a message to anti-gunners who cling to hopes they can regulate the Second Amendment into oblivion.