The Washington Free Beacon is reporting that background checks via the FBI’s National Instant Check System (NICS) hit a new record for the month of October, with 2,333,539 checks processed over the past month.
There is a caveat, of course, as noted by the FBI. “The number of NICS checks in a month do not represent an exact count of gun sales for a number of reasons. For instance, many states require a NICS checks for those applying for gun carry permits, and many states do not require NICS checks for sales between private parties,” the agency notes.
However, by next Monday, the National Shooting Sports Foundation will have its NSSF-adjusted NICS data, and that might give a far better idea of just how many firearms-related transactions were conducted last month.
The bottom line, as noted by Fox News, is that it indicates a continued hot run on guns, perhaps fueled by concerns that Hillary Rodham Clinton will win the election next week. While the odds of a very tight photo finish are getting higher – the Los Angeles Times daily poll has Donald Trump leading Clinton 47.8 to 42.4 percent and Rasmussen Reports still has the race at a dead heat – six days can be an eternity in presidential politics, and that’s what remains between now and Tuesday’s election.
So far this year, there have been 22,206,233 NICS checks reported. It is the 18th month in a row when a NICS record has been set. That’s a lot of firearms activity, and a lot of it appears to be first-time gun buyers. Whether they’re worried about domestic terrorism, everyday crime or the prospect of Hillary in the Oval Office, the fact remains that a lot of guns are being purchased.
The Free Beacon quoted Alan Gottlieb, head of the Second Amendment Foundation, who predicted gun sales will continue to surge, especially if Clinton wins.
“If Hillary Clinton wins on Election Day these numbers will spike in November,” he said. “Everyone will want to buy more firearms before she gets in the White House.”
On the campaign trail in Florida Tuesday, Clinton mentioned the death of Trayvon Martin, the teen who was killed in a confrontation with George Zimmerman more than four years ago. Zimmerman was eventually found not guilty of second-degree murder in what became a “show trial” that brought attacks on concealed carry, stand-your-ground laws (which Zimmerman’s defense never invoked) and self-defense.
Zimmerman recently attended the Gun Rights Policy Conference in Tampa, and a man who had tried to kill him was sentenced to 20 years in prison last month.
Clinton also tried to perpetuate the misconception of a violent crime wave by stating that “33,000 people a year die from guns,” as quoted by the Washington Examiner. About two-thirds of those firearms-related deaths are suicides, not the result of violent crime.