Firearm Sales Remain Strong Throughout February

Data derived from the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check…

Data derived from the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) shows background checks on firearms sales increased 23.3% in February to 1,259,078, compared to 1,021,130 in February 2008. The increase follows a 29% rise in January, a 24% increase in December and a 42% jump in November, when a record 1,529,635 background checks were conducted.

The increase in firearms sales has caused a major shortage of BATFE Form 4473 – the document required for purchase of a firearm from a licensed retailer — resulting in a BATFE announcement that retailers may photocopy the form for use in firearms sales until they receive a new supply of printed forms from the BATFE Distribution Center.

Both retailers and manufacturers have been enjoying brisk sales and have been reporting increased revenue. Despite one of the weakest holiday sales seasons on record, outdoor products retailer Cabela’s has posted robust fourth-quarter sales, mainly as a result of increased firearms and ammunition sales. Smith & Wesson reports its pistol sales are up 40%, while its tactical rifle sales have increased by a whopping 308%. Similarly, Sturm, Ruger & Company has seen an 81% increase in firearms revenue.

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