The postelection, post-Newtown gun-buying bull market may have peaked.
After hitting an all-time high in December, background checks run through the FBI’s national instant check system have declined year-over-year for the first time since October 2011 as fervor after December’s Connecticut school shooting and the government’s push for new gun controls appears to be waning.
The 1.3 million checks run through the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) in June are less than half of the 2.7 million in December, and are about 20,000 less than the same month last year — the first time since October 2011 there’s been a year-to-year drop in checks.
“It seems that those motivated by fear to purchase a firearm over the past several months have acquired all of the guns they desire or can afford,” said David Chipman, a former agent for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives who now serves as an adviser to the gun control advocacy group Mayors Against Illegal Guns.
NICS checks spiked by nearly 500,000 in November compared to the previous year, cracking the 2 million mark for the first time. In December, they increased by more than 900,000, hitting an all-time high of 2.7 million.