Gun sales have been good in 2016. The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has released the numbers on its March 2016 NSSF-adjusted National Instant Criminal Back Ground Check Systems (NICS) tracking. March produced a figure of 1,297,275, an increase of 9.2 percent compared to March 2015. The unadjusted March 2016 FBI NICS figure is 2,509,065—a 25.5 percent bump from the unadjusted 2015 numbers.
The year appears to be off to a hot start, in general. The NSSF's first quarter adjusted NICS figure is 4,147,993. That's a 17.8 percent bump from the first quarter of 2015.
Adjusted NICS data is derived by subtracting out NICS purpose code permit checks used in states like Connecticut, Illinois and Utah for CCW permit application checks and checks on active CCW permit databases.
Though not a direct correlation to firearms sales, the NSSF-adjusted NICS data provide an additional picture of current market conditions. In addition to other purposes, NICS is used to check transactions of firearms sales and transfers on new and used handguns and long guns. FBI NICS and NSSF-adjusted NICS figures do not account for firearm sales using approved alternate permits such as a concealed carry license. Several states allow the use of such alternate permits. It should be noted that these statistics represent the number of firearm background checks initiated through the NICS. They do not represent the number of firearms sold or sales dollars.