Concealed Carry

2017 Set to be Second Highest Gun Sales Year in History

AREX Rex pistol equipped with a TruGlo TruLite combat light right

Believe it or not, he Trump era of the National Instant Criminal Background  Check System (NICS) checks has had seven months of tremendous sales. The National Instant background Check System (NICS) checks were 1,742,546 in July of 2017.  There were 14,346,648 checks since January 1, more checks than all of 2010. In 2016, the number was 16,026,660 at the end of July. Through July, 2015, they were 12,067,075.  The July figure is 79% of the 2016 NICS checks and 108.8% of the 2015 NICS checks! If you are a numbers nerd, read on…

AREX Rex pistol equipped with a TruGlo TruLite combat light right
With the TruGlo TruLite combat light the Rex Zero 9mm makes an excellent home defense handgun. Note hammer back and safety on.

The NSSF has figured out how to remove checks done for permits and renewals. That gives a much better estimation of the number of new guns sold. Recent calculations by the NSSF show there are about .53 guns sold for each NICS check. That would amount to about another million guns in private hands in July of 2017, and 7.7 million more privately owned guns since the beginning of the year. About 14.7 million were added to the stock in 2016.

The NICS checks for June, 2017 were 1,901,768.  That is the second highest number of NICS checks for any June. The highest was in 2016, with 2,131,485. The third highest June was in 2015, with 1,529,057.  Both of those were driven by fear that strong gun control measures might be passed by President Obama.

Firearm sales and NICS checks have not dropped precipitously with a Trump presidency as expected.  Instead, gun sales and NICS checks have stayed at high, near record, or record levels in 2017.  The July, 2017 NICS checks are 89% of the 2016 figures, 108.8% of 2015 figures.

The high number of NICS checks reflects an expanded base of firearms owners and shooters who are buying more guns under the expectation of a prosperous Trump Presidency.

There is a high inventory of firearms for sale, and many good quality AR-15 types can be had for under $500. Ammunition prices have been slowly dropping.

The number of people with carry licenses continues to soar. There are over 15 million. At the time of this report, the number has likely surpassed 16 million. They are 5-15% of voters in many states, some crucial swing states like Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin. When a carry permit is obtained or renewed, another NICS check is done.

Kentucky contributes to the number of NICS checks by performing a NICS check on every Kentucky concealed carry permit holder every month. Kentucky performs nearly 3 million checks every year.

The fear of violence from the Left, as shown in BerkleyPortland, the District of Columbia, and San Francisco, may be leading to more firearm sales.

The media propaganda against President Trump has driven people on the left to buy guns and ammunition.

There has been a gradual increase in the use of NICS for things other than firearm sales. The increases are for such transactions as the sales of suppressors/silencer, and even checks on school teachers.

The average ratio, of the number of NICS checks to additions of firearms to the private stock in the United States, over 15 years, is a little less than .6 NICS checks per firearm.

If that ratio holds true, over 7.5 million guns were added to the private stock in the first half of 2017.

The expected drop in firearms sales has been minimal. Sales are at historical high levels, only a little less than the records set in 2016. If the economy continues to pick up, 2017 could become a record year for NICS. Of course, lower prices, rebates, and package deals have helped as well.

Have you taken advantage of any of the deals or rebates in 2017? Which gun or guns have you added? Share your answers in the comment section.

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (21)

  1. Amazing deductions here.

    First, make an assumption that a Trump presidency will result in reduced sales, present evidence that sales are increasing, then question why the assumption is not being proved by the data. Not exactly an application of the scientific method.

    MAYBE the assumption of reduced sales resulted in firearms prices decreasing which resulted in increased sales.

    MAYBE Hillary’s attempts to overturn the election resulted in greater gun sales.

    MAYBE there is no cause and effect at all.

  2. Still trying to figure out how that ‘ratio’ is supposed to work in sales projection. There a few variables missing.

  3. Just bought a Winchester XPR in .270 for $258 after sale and $100 rebate, Couldn’t afford not to buy at that price. Great reviews and it fits me very well. Comes with extra magazine and rings and base. I also have rebates in the mail for Remington, Federal and Winchester ammo.

  4. There is a flaw in the reported numbers. Not all of these sales are new guns so “over 7.5 million guns were added to the private stock in the first half of 2017” isn’t even close. A large number of these background checks involved sales of used guns that were trades or on consignment – it could be 25% or more.

  5. I hit on some good deals this year… M1A Loaded Archangel (used… and before the Springfield flap arose), FNX Tactical, G43, Ruger GP100, and the year isn’t over yet!!!

  6. Realizing that congress was becoming even more russophobic due to the much hyped alleged election meddling, I had an inkling further sanctions were inevitable. Therefore I purchased a VEPR AK 74 side folding 5.45×39 , VEPR 762x54r, and a VEPR .223 back in March. Within a few months the sanctions I was gambling on came through against molot oruzhie. Political sensationalism defined my motivation for buying Russian this year. Luckily it paid off.

    1. YOU are lucky! I ALMOST bought an AK-74 Vepr, based upon the reviews from the “AK Operators Union” on YouTube. He knows his stuff, and I’m pretty sure he also knew of what was gonna go down… I don’t think anyone knew just how quick though, but as soon as it broke on the gun market, you could not find one for under $1500, so I waited too long on that one! I envy you! 🙂 I did recently manage to score a great deal on a Scar 17 “Heavy” , so I am quite happy nonetheless. Take care of those awesome Vepr’s you got there, I have a feeling the price on those will keep skyrocketing, and they make for one hell of a battle rifle!

  7. One thing the leftists are not good for is resale value. I picked up a Colt AR-15 with the intension of selling my lightly used Stag model 3. When I took it into the gun shop I was told the market for ARs is dead and the best he could do was $300. He said hang on to it until a Democrat is president and then i’d get a lot more. I decided to keep it and turn it into a project. I already have a new upper ordered.

  8. This year was my breakout year. I purchased my very first firearm which was a Walther ccp after attending the Tampa gun show and handling multiple pistols the Walther ccp just felt right (could use brighter sights imo though). I also applied and am awaiting my CCW in the mail. 2017 is a scary year and was the year I decided to start carrying.

  9. All the reasons you gave for gun sales staying at near historic highs are valid, but you left out one very important one. Although anecdotal, I have seen a number of people who bought their first firearm during Obama’s first term discover how much fun recreational shooting is and have purchased additional firearms for that reason.

  10. Picked up a Walther PPS M2 recently to replace my P11 for concealment. What an amazing little firearm. Suberbly accurate and well made. Got the rebate too, which is nice. I don’t know how small gun shops stay in business with all the competition abound. You can buy pretty much any firearm now at wholesale prices online.

  11. I believe it…when GOP is in charge the price of guns plummets its a perfect time to stock pile guns and ammo…only the sheep go out and buy when Dems are in power..they are over paying every time.

  12. This report makes me very happy. People are waking up to the dangers of dictatorships and globalism (socialism, fascism, and outright tyranny) where the world will be controlled by the few (oligarchs). Real patriots for freedom and liberty are doing their due-diligence, and will fight to maintain their God-given rights of self-protection, liberty, and justice. These responsibly armed Americans are the true thinkers and protectors of our Republic and our Constitution.

  13. Politico aside… yes, I took advantage of several deals this year. Bushmaster had a 75$ rebate on xm carbine nice ar platform for a great price. Then, there is the Remington 5$ rebate on core lokt ammo, yes please. Lastly, Mossberg had a great package deal on their Patriot bolt action with a vortex scope. All in all, great year for fleshing out a collection and or filling the ole gun safe.

  14. I closed my small time gun shop this month. Gander Mt going out and selling all their guns for WAY below cost and the online retailers DUMPING thier inventory for cost or below is what killed a lot of small time shops. Online sellers were selling SW Shields for $299.00… My cost was $325.00 but since they were able to buy 100s at a time and get one free every 6th one they bought they were able to sell them so cheap.
    I did a good amount of online transfers but that wasn’t paying the bills. I saw were the market was going and wanted to get out while the getting was still ok.

  15. If the left only knew how good they are for gun sale’s They would stop the violence, screaming for more gun control law’s, and all of their other BS:
    Fewer gun’s would be sold and the price would go up on gun’s and then fewer people could afford to buy them: For the left please keep all f your “BS” up and even cry out for many more gun control law’s, So the price of gun’s would go down and then everyone that want’s a gun can afford them.

    1. I’m sorry to hear that! It seems that is what is happening to quite a few of the local shops all across the US… If a local shop does NOT have some sort of niche product or service that they offer to their customers to keep them coming back, then unfortunately the customers will spend their hard earned money somewhere that charges a few bucks over cost! I try to give a few of my local shops as much business as I can, but some of them are killing themselves and don’t seem to care… If they are selling a firearm for $100 more then ANY local competitor then what do they expect to happen?? It’s common sense that people are going to go where they can get the same gun for the cheapest price, unless of course the difference is under $25 or so. Anyways, good luck with your future endeavors and God bless!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your discussions, feedback and comments are welcome here as long as they are relevant and insightful. Please be respectful of others. We reserve the right to edit as appropriate, delete profane, harassing, abusive and spam comments or posts, and block repeat offenders. All comments are held for moderation and will appear after approval.