A spike in the number of initiated background checks in March via the FBI’s National Instant Check System (NICS) reflects a significant increase in the number of people apparently interested in buying guns, and a major gun rights organization is crediting the wave of gun control hysteria following the shooting tragedy at a Florida high school.
“There is only one reason gun sales may have hit a new record high last month,” suggested Alan Gottlieb, founder and executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation, “and that’s the attack on Second Amendment rights that has reached a fever pitch. Even before the victims were identified, the anti-gun lobby was hard at work demonizing gun rights and young adult firearm owners at a level we’ve never witnessed before.”
According to raw data from the FBI, March saw a record 2,767,699 background checks initiated with the system. That is up 334,607 over the number of checks for March 2017, and an increase of 244,434 NICS checks initiated in March 2016. While the raw data shows the number of NICS checks initiated, the FBI notes in its monthly reports, it does not reflect the actual number of firearms sold for that time period.
But the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) came in with its adjusted number that may more closely reflect the number of guns sold, and it’s an eye-opener. According to the NSSF-adjusted figure of 1,356,929, the March data shows a 10.8 percent increase over the March 2017 figure of 1,356,929.
NSSF’s Mike Bazinet said via email that, “We have to assume that the news coverage of gun control measures being introduced on Capitol Hill and in several state capitals had some effect on people making the decision to exercise their Second Amendment rights by going to retailers and making purchases ahead of the possible enactment of stricter laws that only affect law-abiding citizens.”
Since the Parkland tragedy on Feb. 14, there has been a coordinated campaign to push increasingly restrictive gun control laws. Florida has increased the minimum age for purchasing long guns from 18 to 21, ignoring federal law dating back nearly 50 years that allow rifles and shotguns to be purchased by young adults. Handgun sales are restricted to citizens over age 21.
One person who has emerged as the poster boy for this new gun control push is Marjory Stoneman Douglas student David Hogg. He has become the face of a student movement that many believe has been compromised by the gun prohibition lobby in calling for a ban on so-called “assault weapons” and for other restrictions. Gottlieb singled him out.
“The question now is whether student David Hogg and his gun ban buddies in the media finally learn that calls for more new gun control laws only increase gun sales,” he said. “When you blame people for crimes they didn’t commit and attack their rights, they will defend those rights by exercising them.”
Gottlieb co-authored a book titled “Dancing In Blood: Exposing the Gun Ban Lobby’s Playbook to Destroy Your Rights.” This paperback detailed how anti-gunners have published more than one strategy guide on how to exploit gun crimes to further their agenda.