The latest FBI report on National Instant Criminal Background Check System inquiries should that firearms purchases have actually increased rather than decreased during the Trump administration. The total number of checks on the NICS across the nation increased by about 9 percent in March over February this year. February itself showed an almost 10 percent increase over January 2017, according to NICS.
 
NICS checks alone are not an absolute indicator of the number of firearms purchases because not all checks are completed after an approved NICS is issued, and one check can be related to the purchase of more than one firearm. 
 
However, the National Shooting Sports Foundation has devised a method to find the number of NICS checks by eliminating those that are explicitly for permits or permit rechecks. This does not arrive at the total number of firearms purchased because some local jurisdictions require a permit for firearms purchases and thus run a check for the permit itself instead of merely at the point of sale. The NSSF formula does provide a good indicator of the number of firearms legally purchased per month.
 
March of 2017 was the 10th in order of magnitude in the number of total NICS checks since January 2008, the month that former president Barack Obama was inaugurated, and was 17th in order of magnitude as to the number of firearms sales. According to the most recent estimate, March 2017 saw a total sale of approximately 1.35 million firearms.
 
Before President Trump was inaugurated, some observers theorized that once he were sitting in the White House, firearms sales would subside. The above report would appear to contradict that notion. 


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Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat and the editor of Spero News.

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