We’ve all seen the “Obama Named Firearms Salesman of the Year” headlines, posters and parodies during the past few years at gun shops and on Second Amendment blogs, but when you really get down to serious number crunching, the figures are, well … quite staggering.
The latest data released the first week of April by the FBI indicate there have been a total of 70,291,049 background checks for firearm purchases under the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) since Barack Obama was sworn in as President of the United States in January 2009.
Under the exact same period of time during the George W. Bush presidency, NICS checks totaled 36,090,415, or about half the number conducted under the Obama Administration.
In 2009, the FBI conducted 14,033,824 background checks under the NICS system. By subtracting the totals for January, the month Obama assumed office, the year’s total is 12,819,939.
Subsequently, there were 14,409,616 background checks conducted in 2010, 16,454,951 in 2011, and 19,592,303 in 2012. Add the first 3 months of 2013 (2,495,440, 2,309,393 and 2,209,407, respectively) and the total number of background checks under President Obama 70,291,049.
Other impressive NICS milestones that have taken place under the Obama Administration include a record 34 straight months that NICS figures have increased when compared to the same period the previous year.
In addition, a new single-day record for point-of-sale background checks was established on Black Friday, Nov. 23, 2012, when 154,873 were conducted by the FBI NICS. That total was nearly 20 percent more than the previous high of 129,166 set on Black Friday the previous year.
It’s important to note that NICS data is not a direct correlation to individual firearms sales. NICS is used to check transactions of firearms sales and transfers on new and used handguns and long guns. Based on varying state laws and purchase scenarios, a one-to-one correlation can’t be made between a firearm background check and a firearm sale.
Nonetheless, the number of NICS checks is widely considered by the firearms industry as the most dependable barometer of overall gun sales in the United States.