Gun Sales Remain Strong in June

Once again, widespread calls for gun control have boosted firearms sales across the country. June sales were the second highest on record for that month, while June NICS checks came in at the third highest since that system was implemented. Ammoland’s Dean Weingarten notes that an overhaul of Illinois’ Firearm Owner Identification (FOID) card system is responsible for the discrepancy. The FOID changes led to 400,000 fewer checks in that state, out of 500,000 fewer checks nationwide.

Glock pistols on sale at a Florida gun show
1.35 million firearms were sold in June 2022. (

Nevertheless, 1.35 million firearms were sold in June, compared to 1.25 million in June 2021. The highest June on record was 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic and widespread unrest led to 2.13 million firearms being sold.

NICS Firearms sales chart
Note that NICS checks do not equate to actual guns sold. (

Rhetoric and Lawlessness Drives Gun Sales

We reported earlier on the House of Representatives passing a raft of gun control bills, while the Senate pushed through a bipartisan bill that Joe Biden signed into law. The House measures have stalled in the Senate and likely won’t even get a vote. The one exception is Virginia Congressman Don Beyer’s scheme to tax certain rifles at 1,000 percent. Beyer plans to attach it to a tax bill that requires only a simple majority to pass. That one bears watching.

As usual, gun-controlling politicians remain reliable gun salesmen. Whenever gun control enters the spotlight, sales correspondingly surge. Anti-gun rhetoric and markedly increased crime levels combine to drive gun sales in our current environment. Americans’ faith in government protection continues to erode amid an explosion of violence. And keep in mind the Supreme Court ruled that police have no lawful duty to protect individuals from criminals.

Joe Biden and Chris Murphy
Anti-gun politicians like Joe Biden and Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy sell lots of guns with their rhetoric. (AP photo)

Media uproar over the recent shootings in Buffalo, New York, Uvalde, Texas, and Highland Park, Illinois has kept the gun control rhetoric front and center. Combined with the immediate fallout from Bruen, sales will likely remain strong.

Moving Forward

The recent Bruen decision by the Supreme Court may affect gun sales, but we won’t know for several months. States are now barred from requiring citizens to demonstrate a special need for a concealed carry permit, so that may lead to a short-term sales increase as those folks exercise their rights. Several of those states, notably California and New York, are doubling down on their anti-gun policies and seeking ways around Bruen. Those may yet succeed, and we’ll have to see how it affects sales.

Welcome to New York sign
Welcome to New York, unless you’re a gun owner. (Shutterstock)

We believe the biggest potential check on gun sales will be inflation. Firearm and ammunition prices have been relatively stable, but the bite of food and fuel prices will eventually force people to prioritize. We expect numbers of new gun owners will continue to grow but repeat buyers may decline as groceries skyrocket later this summer.

Grocery Inflation
Food and fuel inflation will likely impact gun sales later this year. (istock photo)

Republicans are expected to do well in the November elections. Signs point to possible, maybe even probable, Republican control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Recent history shows that Republican power means lower gun sales. But if Texas Senator John Cornyn and his crew taught us anything last month, Republicans are willing to sell our rights when it suits them.

We’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: Republicans and Democrats may trash each other publicly, but they all drink together at clubs you and I don’t belong to. A lot of that stuff is just posturing. Never assume a politician will do the right thing.

William "Bucky" Lawson is a self-described "typical Appalachian-American gun enthusiast". He is a military historian specializing in World War II and has written a few things, as he says, "here and there". A featured contributor for Strategy & Tactics, he likes dogs, range time, and a good cigar - preferably with an Old Fashioned that has an extra orange slice.


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