September background checks for firearms conducted by the FBI were at the lowest in 22 months, suggesting the year and a half of panic buying guns has lost momentum.
FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) data shows background checks slumped 9.2% in September from a year ago. Unadjusted checks dropped to 2.63 million when compared with last September.
Gun sales aren't tracked by NICS data. Background checks only serve as a proxy for sales by the firearms industry.
For more color on the firearms industry and how panic-buying guns, sparked by the virus pandemic and social unrest of 2020, along with President Biden's gun control push in 2021, has likely peaked is Baltimore-based gunshop and gun policy advocacy group The Machine Gun Nest, who said:
"Considering that has been a solid year and a half of panic buying, it had to end sometime. If you walk into your local gun shop, you'll see the shelves are much more stocked than they were this time last year. The fact that we've been able to keep 9mm on our shelves for longer than a day has been a clear indicator for us that the panic buying has died down.
"We are continuing to see strong sales numbers, and even though the panic buy is dying down, it seems that more and more people are exercising their 2nd amendment rights and participating in shooting sports."
So if panic buying guns has run its course - this means inflated prices should undergo a mean reversion of some sort. As for ammo, we suspect prices will remain elevated as there are millions of new gun owners in the last two years.