The FBI released the numbers for the NICS checks done this year, which includes the crazy month of December. I had heard anecdotal stories from local FFLs of them having trouble contacting NICS and that they had gotten a rarely heard busy signal from the number, so I knew the numbers were high. I had no idea they would skew that much higher than previous months.
Doing some quick math, this entire year was up 19% from last year but that seems on par with 2012 being an election year.
The unbelievable numbers start when you compare December to other months of this year. November was when the election hit and the ensuing rush we all witnessed happened but even still December had an increase of 39% over the already elevated background check numbers of November. If you want to see how December compares to a more normal month, you can roll back to February. That month had the 3rd highest number of NICS checks for the year but stated close to the average of the other months. December dwarfs that month with almost 60% more background checks.
Of course, these numbers don’t paint the entire picture as not every background check results in a sale. These stats do however help explain the wild variances we’ve all seen in the supply and demand of the firearms market recently.