Surge in Firearm Registration Applications

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
This USA today story has been repeated as evidence of various things. But is it actually evidence people are buying that many more guns?

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/04/24/atf-guns-registration/8115273/
The memo says:
https://www.metabunk.org/attachments/eforms-letter-4-16-14-final-pdf.7060/
So is this an increase in guns being bought? Or mostly from changes in the law?

http://www.atf.gov/statistics/index.html




More and more forms are processed - but is that due to more guns? The first graph shows a big dip from 2008 to 2010, but the second graph does not.

The USA Today story suggests it's a surge in production, not in sales. The memo suggests it's a change in the law. The scare stories suggest it's people stocking up for civil unrest.

Can anyone clarify?
 

Attachments

  • eForms Letter 4-16-14 final.pdf
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Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
The 2012 numbers were 137,649, and the 2013 numbers were 199,900 - it's been a gradual increase in forms processed since 2005.
 
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Svartbjørn

Senior Member.
I'd imagine the only way to really figure this out would be to look at the sales from fire arms manufacturers and see if the data scales at the same rate that the processing takes place.. but I wouldnt have a clue where to actually get all that data. Are all these forms for civilians Mick, or do they take law enforcement into account as well?
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
I'd imagine the only way to really figure this out would be to look at the sales from fire arms manufacturers and see if the data scales at the same rate that the processing takes place.. but I wouldnt have a clue where to actually get all that data. Are all these forms for civilians Mick, or do they take law enforcement into account as well?
I'm thinking based on how low the numbers are its only dealerships/distributors? there are a lot of forms for all sorts of stuff. including separate forms for if guns (I think from licensed dealers it sounds like) are lost or stolen. and forms if one person (or agency I guess) buys multiple weapons.

and just because a dealership buys guns from a manufacturer doesn't mean they were all sold.

NIC is the agency that runs background checks on individual purchasers. ??

confusing.
 

Soulfly

Banned
Banned
Is this just for special weapons like automatics and other high powered guns (.50 cal) that require special permits to own? I know there is a completely different process for people wanting automatic weapon permits. The ATF dig a lot deeper into back grounds and they tend to keep track and check up on the people who have those types of permits.
 

Gunguy45

Senior Member.
It all depends on many factors. But let me make a few clarifications, though I am by no means an expert on all the legalities. First, many people are discovering that certain items they thought they could never own are indeed legal (if you have the time and money to go through with it). Such items are fully automatic (FA) weapons (mostly collectors items from WWII and earlier), sound suppressors (not silencers...no firearm is completely silent), short barreled rifles (SBR,which I know little about), etc, etc. There are very few FA weapons available that are legal for civilian purchase and the prices are extremely high. Suppressors on the other hand have gotten cheaper and more available and have many valid uses such as urban pest control and are even legal for hunting in some states. They are also used by some fish and wildlife departments for culling or taking out rogue animals in suburban/urban areas. SBRs are those that have a barrel less than 16" or overall length less than 26". Some are made to faithfully re-create semi-auto versions of classic sub-machine guns such as MP-5s or Thompson M1. Others make very effective home defense or "truck" weapons.

NFA as noted is a special category of items, but think of them like a surge in new car sales. If you sell your car and buy a new one, that generates 2 applications at the DMV. If a collector/owner of a NFA regulated item sells it, but buys another, the same thing occurs.

I also believe more states have enacted laws allowing ownership of such items, thus increasing the number of buyers.

Note to Soulfly...buying a .50 rifle is no different than buying a .22 rimfire rifle. No FA .50 cal is available for sale to civilians. All others are single shot, bolt action, or semi-automatic. Even then...about the cheapest (and least regarded in the shooting world) will probably run upwards of $3000, with quality products running much more. At $4-6 or more per shot...these are not for your typical urban street hood or home defense.

Oh...and btw, the system is NICS ( National Instant Criminal Background Check System). NIC is a Network Interface Controller, NIS is the National Institute of Science. And NCIS is is a TV crime show starring Mark Harmon...lol
 
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jaydeehess

Senior Member.
Sound suppressors! Really? We have conservation officers in Canada too , and many instances of aggressive animals being shot in urban areas, but us supposedly gun-timid Canucks don't seem to require sound suppressors.
AFAIK, in Canada , full auto weapons simply are not allowed except for the military( certain police units as well) , barrels of shotguns and rifles are not to be shortened, and "silencers" ( a bad misnomer, as Gunguy says above) simply aren't allowed.

So registration of such devices here hasn't increased due to the fact that they simply aren't legal.

All of which is rather OT. However its scary stories such as this that cause many of us foreigners to shake our heads in disbelief at the, apparent, gun-nuttiness of Americans.

If this story is a bad case of statistical misrepresentation it does about as much to advance the PR of the USA as Rob Ford (drunken , crack smoking, mayor of Toronto), does for the PR of Canada.

IMHO of course.
 

jaydeehess

Senior Member.
Ironic, isn't it, that supposedly, this increase is due to people worried about new firearms restrictions when it actually seems that in the last few years firearms restrictions in the USA have been going the other way.

The NRA is quite really a very good advertising agency for the firearms industry though.
 

Soulfly

Banned
Banned
Note to Soulfly...buying a .50 rifle is no different than buying a .22 rimfire rifle. No FA .50 cal is available for sale to civilians. All others are single shot, bolt action, or semi-automatic. Even then...about the cheapest (and least regarded in the shooting world) will probably run upwards of $3000, with quality products running much more. At $4-6 or more per shot...these are not for your typical urban street hood or home defense.
California has banned the sale of .50 cal sniper rifles but allows special permits. And people do trade in .50 FA machine guns, they require a special permit to own and shoot though.
They are typically all older military surplus weapons and not new modern ones. Ma Deuce anyone?

There are several weekend events around the country that showcase all kinds of high powered and automatic weapons.
http://mgshooters.com/
http://www.knobcreekrange.com/machine_gun_shoot.html
 

Gunguy45

Senior Member.
Oh...one other item about suppressors. They are also getting more use purely to reduce the noise when shooting a lot. Even with quality hearing protection, the act of firing hundreds or thousands of rounds over a period of time can have deleterious effects on hearing. It's the excuse I use with my wife.

Jaydeehess...I believe your gun laws are nationwide as opposed to regulation by Province? Many of ours are at the State level...just look at the difference between CA and AZ (where I live) just a short distance to the East.
 

WeedWhacker

Senior Member
So is this an increase in guns being bought? Or mostly from changes in the law?

Having read the OP again....I'm going to guess more the latter.

There is little doubt that many lobbyist groups (in the U.S.) will occasionally resort to "scare tactics" in order to encourage those people who are members of organizations that they are representing to feel "threatened"...usual canard of the "2nd Amendment".

In an effort to remain "neutral" though, about gun ownership in the USA....a thought occurred:

Is it all plausible that these lobbying groups are merely attempting to spur increased sales on behalf of manufacturers?
 

jaydeehess

Senior Member.
Oh...one other item about suppressors. They are also getting more use purely to reduce the noise when shooting a lot. Even with quality hearing protection, the act of firing hundreds or thousands of rounds over a period of time can have deleterious effects on hearing. It's the excuse I use with my wife.

Jaydeehess...I believe your gun laws are nationwide as opposed to regulation by Province? Many of ours are at the State level...just look at the difference between CA and AZ (where I live) just a short distance to the East.
Yes, ours are federal. Hunting regs are Provincial but cannot contravene federal law. For instance, I believe, there is no hunting with handguns allowed due to federal gun laws restricting the use of handguns.
 

Gunguy45

Senior Member.
And people do trade in .50 FA machine guns, they require a special permit to own and shoot though.
They are typically all older military surplus weapons and not new modern ones. Ma Deuce anyone?

True...but those are regulated as FA weapons, I was just referring to .50 cal rifles and the majority of buyers in less restrictive states.
 

jaydeehess

Senior Member.
So, what is the ratio of states that have relaxed ownership of such devices(I have a hard time thinking of a sound suppressor as a "firearm"), to those that have tightened restrictions on them?
 

Gunguy45

Senior Member.
Well, I'm not a good person to dig out stats...I probably couldn't give you an adequate answer as to whether a State has relaxed laws, just administratively directed that applications should be approved, or has no law at all. I believe every such application must be endorsed by the local head of law enforcement whether a County Sheriff or Police Chief attesting to the applicants good character and recommending approval or denial. (Just like concealed weapons permits, there was local resistance to the majority desires, so Legislatures enacted laws that changed wording from "may issue" to "shall issue", which took LE heads personal opinions out of the equation.) The process used to take 3-6 months, now it's more like a year. Oh, and Federal law has very severe penalties for crimes committed with a suppressor equipped firearm. 30 yrs minimum.

What I did find was a reference from 2011 that listed 37 states where they were legal, and another from 2013 that lists 39, with all others considering them illegal. It hurts my brain to compare the lists. Mick and others would probably just whip out some comparison program and be done with it. I couldn't find any reliable sources other than chat rooms that went any further back. I'm sure it coincides pretty well with the number of States that have made concealed carry lawful. Wikipedia has a nice little animated map of that under "Concealed Carry in the US". I don't have the skills to embed anything like that.

Sorry if I ramble a bit and go OT, I get called out on that often for subjects that interest me.

BTW...I'm not a Rambo or militiaman or anything like that, but I have liked guns since I was very young. Some had sports figures and bands on their walls as a teen, I had centerfolds from gun magazines. (Yes, they used to have those.)
 
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