More than 21 million applications were run through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System last year, marking nearly an 8 percent increase and the 11th straight year that the number has risen.
Background checks serve as a proxy for the number of gun sales, which soared in the months immediately after the December 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings. But NICS checks plummeted in November and December compared with a year earlier, suggesting that the boom may be over.
“2013 was the best year for firearm sales (commercial, domestic) in history — period! That’s true for NH to Hawaii,” said Richard Feldman, president of the Independent Firearm Owners Association in Rindge, N.H. “Ruger alone sold well over one million guns this year.”
Mr. Feldman said to expect the next surge to be in bullets.
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