News of a so-called “Trump Slump” in background checks for gun sales was short-lived and has now been laid to rest via FBI figures that show August 2017 shattered the previous August background check record.
According to the FBI, 1,925,146 background checks were conducted in August 2017. The previous record consisted of the 1,853,815 checks conducted in August 2016.
Breitbart News reported that May 2015 through November 2016 witnessed monthly background check records set during 15 months consecutively. In other words, May 2015 witnessed more background checks than any May on record, June 2015 witnessed more checks than any June on record, and July 2015 witnessed more checks, on through November 2016. In fact, there were so many checks conducted January 1, 2016, through November 30, 2016, that that 11-month period alone surpassed any previous entire calendar year for background checks.
But checks dropped off a bit during December 2016. The bottom did not fall out, rather, checks returned to more normal levels. And when December 2016 came in as the third highest December in background check history–instead of the highest ever–pundits were quick to proclaim a “Trump Slump.” They said the election of Donald Trump had saved the country from gun control but undermined the gun industry in the process. Yet something happened on the way to industry’s collapse; namely, the U.S. witnessed the second highest number of background checks ever during the first half of 2017.
Breitbart News reported FBI figures that showed background checks for January through June 2017 were only surpassed by checks for the same time period in 2016.
These checks–combined with range memberships, firearm accessory sales, concealed carry permit issuance, etc.–have the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) convinced that 2017 is on track to be one of the best years the gun industry has witnessed in two decades. The record breaking background checks for August 2017 only seem to bolster NSSF’s point.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.