Friday, November 30, 2012

The Gun Frenzy of 2012

President Obama’s election and recent re-election have apparently fueled a gun-buying craze in this country unlike anything we’ve seen in modern times.  

USA Today reported this week:

“For the second consecutive year, prospective gun buyers joined Black Friday shoppers in record numbers as firearms dealers swamped the F.B.I. with required buyer background check requests. The F.B.I. fielded 154,873 calls, a roughly 20 percent increase from last year’s previous one-day record of 129,166, according to bureau records. The requests came in such volume throughout the day that F.B.I. call centers experienced two brief outages — one of 18 minutes and one for 14 minutes — during the busy day, bureau spokesman Stephen Fischer said Monday.” 

As the report made clear: 

“The F.B.I. does not track actual gun sales. But the number of firearms sold Friday is likely higher because multiple firearms can be included in one transaction by a single buyer.”
We had a pretty good discussion about background checks and how they relate to gun sales a while ago. The thing I picked up on is that used guns sold by pawn shops and FFL gun dealers also require the NICS background check and they obviously don't represent new guns entering the market.

Another reason is to request a concealed carry permit.  No gun sale is required for that.

On the other hand, as this NYT article points out, some folks purchase multiple weapons with only one background check. So, although counting background checks as a way of gauging gun sales is far from accurate, I think we can all agree that business is booming and Obama is the greatest gun salesman of all time.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.


  1. In Arkansas, having a carry license means no phone call required, so some gun sales aren't being counted.

    The point is that the American people are more and more on my side of the argument over gun control. We're buying guns; we're getting carry licenses, and we're not supporting efforts to make the laws stricter.

    1. You're in the minority, Greg. You can't claim kinship with "the American people" any more than you can with the 100 million of them who own guns.

    2. I have a lot more justification for claiming kinship with American values and people than you do. I live here. I look at the trends in our laws, and I talk to gun owners and to people who have never touched a gun. The country is on my side.

    3. Greg: "The country is on my side."

      And the world is on mine.

      History is on our side. We will bury you.

    4. Quoting Uncle Nikita, E.N.? Well, we know how that conflict worked out...

  2. Public support is not required for the passage of legislation. Many of the proposals which have become law were VERY unpopular when the bills where passed and the decree signed. Even if the public is vehemently opposed to a new policy, it is unlikely that there will be a single and concerted reaction at the polls, let alone the armed uprising that you claim.

    The majority of U.S. citizens (and the majority of persons in most states) do not own (and also I would find likely that a majority have never been in possession or use of) a firearm. Restrictive firearm statutes would not be a non-issue to most voters, who would simply not care enough to oppose any future government policy.

    1. The recent survey by the Gallup organization tells us that about half of American households have at least one gun. Perhaps you've noticed that gun laws are moving my direction, not yours? Americans don't want gun control. Keep dreaming, E.N.

    2. In little more than a year the largest State, holding over 10 percent of the population, will require all persons to register new firearms. While some recent court decisions support your radical views, only a few backwater States have made any recent liberalization of weapon laws. The pro-gun sentiment is limited to the (easily corrupted) younger generations, as well as those who identify with the lingering "redneck" culture, which you ascribe to.

    3. 1. California's gun laws are already ridiculous, so it would come as no shock if the state added new infringements to the right to own and carry guns. Your point?

      2. The Supreme Court has ruled twice that owning guns is a right. Look for more such rulings to come.

      3. Do you consider Wisconsin to be a backwater state? It went from no-issue to shall-issue recently. Forty states now either are shall-issue or don't require a license to carry. That's a lot of backwater.

      4. You have yet to identify which culture you are a part of, but given your comments here, you show a love for tyrannies. I'll take mine over yours any day.

    4. ".. redneck culture.." -- Someone call me?

    5. In response to Greg's idiocy........

      1. Exactly. California is currently in a progression which had begun in the mid sixties. The "outrageous" laws only foreshadow the inevitable/

      2. Unfortunately a computer-trained nincompoop, such as yourself apparently lacks the ability to read and understand that there where two dissenting opinions (Stevens and Breyer) which where endorsed (each) by 4 justices. Justices Scalia, Kennedy, Alito, Roberts, and Thomas ruled that the Second Amendment disallows the State to prohibit firearms in common use (and that handguns where a weapon of common and ubiquitous ownership throughout the U.S.).

      3. Yes. The collective idiocy of those 39 States (Vermont does NOT issue civilian-carry permits) is observed with bemusement and astonishment from the rest of the World.

      4. Your prospective is quite unique, as your ability to use the computer, is a monument to special education in itself.

      Therefore I bestow upon you a question:

      What culture do you envision that I belong to?

    6. 1. California, New York, and a few others have stupid gun laws. The rest of the country is going my way. But California is in lots of trouble in many ways, so don't look for other states to follow suit.

      2. So you admit that the rulings support my idea, but then tell me that I can't read?

      3. I don't give a damn about the bemusement of other countries. America has gone its own way on many occasions, including from our beginning. Right isn't determined by majority rule.

      4. Unique is an absolute term, not one that can be qualified by words like very or quite.

      5. As to what culture you belong to, I don't know for certain. You show sympathy for the model of society found in Cold War Albania or in North Korea even today, but I suspect that you're a troll and a deeply frustrated American.

  3. Mike, if you want to know the number of new guns entering the market, the ATF keeps track of that number to the exact count and they make it public. We have discussed that here before. They even track categories of guns and sort it by caliber.

    1. Sorry I don't recall those discussions, but my memory is not what it used to be.

      But if that's so, why do the pro-gun folks always refer to NICS background checks as a way of indicating increasing gun sales?

    2. We refer to the ATF numbers quite often. I'll send you the link later.

      But to answer you question about why NCIS gets mentioned is because it is more immediate. The ATF by law has to wait two years before releasing this information (trade laws- not gun laws). So thier most recent information is for 2010, while the NCIS checks can tell us what happened on Black Friday, just a few days ago. Both are useful pieces.

    3. Mikeb, does it matter? You agree that the numbers, whatever their source, show a rise in gun sales and in carry license applications.