March Gun Sales Top Previous Month

Cliff Grassmick/Daily Camera via AP

Gun sales are an important aspect of gun rights. The more people who buy guns, the more people who will, at least in time, become advocates for the right to keep and bear arms. They start to realize that having a gun doesn't make you stupid, mean, adversarial, or anything else, but it does make you safer from criminals.


And gun sales are good. They've been good for a while, but they always seem to pick up when we have a Gun-Grabber-in-Chief occupying the Oval Office.

While President Joe Biden may not know where he is half the time (at best), we know he wants our guns.

Yet March gun sales topped an already strong February.

Americans continue to reach for their wallet when it comes to practicing the right to keep and bear arms, with data suggesting over-the-counter gun sales passing the 1 million mark for the 56th month in a row. 

Last month was the 7th-highest March on record in terms of federal background checks for likely over-the-counter gun transfers since the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System was established over 20 years ago. 

The unadjusted figures of 2,497,577 checks conducted through NICS last month-- while a 15.5 percent decrease from the unadjusted FBI NICS figure of 2,954,230 in March 2023-- is 6.6 percent higher than the 2,336,390 logged in February 2023.

When the numbers for last month were adjusted by the National Shooting Sports Foundation to remove gun permit checks and rechecks, the adjusted figure stands at 1,442,061, which is a shallower drop of about 7.4 percent compared to the March 2023 NSSF-adjusted NICS figure of 1,556,492. However, last month's figures were 14.7 percent ahead of February 2024’s, which came in at 1,343,478. 


Industry analysts argue that this massive number of gun sales suggest that Americans are as pro-gun as they ever were, if not more, and I can't find it in my heart to disagree.

Keep in mind that March's gun sales outstrip the total number of firearms in private, civilian hands in numerous other countries. That was just a month for us, and not a massively strong month for gun sales, either. I mean, it's the seventh highest total for March, which means there were six better.

Yet 1.4 million gun sales in March is still important because a significant number of those are likely to be first-time gun buyers. These are people who had no skin in the gun debate before, but now they do. Now they have to think about red flag laws in the context of someone arguing their guns should be taken. They have to think about universal background checks in the context of them buying or selling a gun to a family member or a friend they've known since middle school.

That's why gun owners become gun voters, and now there are more of us.

After April, there will be even more.

Yes, many others of these sales were people buying an additional firearm, and that's good news as well. We need as many gun sales as possible to keep the industry thriving. Without gun makers and gun dealers, our ability to access firearms diminishes. The right to keep and bear arms only matters if we can actually obtain arms, so those additonal sales are also big.


Buying a product shouldn't be a political statement, but when it comes to guns, they are. It's not this side of the debate that made it necessary to make it into a statement, either, but it is and frankly, March was still a hell of a statement.

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