Gun sales in Utah rose over 2012, according to recently released FBI statistics. NICS Background checks hit almost 325,000 in 2013 according to the FBI NICS Background check statistics. They are still down considerably from the peak in 2011, which is the year that holds the record for background checks in Utah since 1998 when the FBI launched the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993 coming in at just over one million. 2010 is the second highest year coming in at just over 550,000 checks.
Across the United States, November 29, 2013 (Black Friday) came in as the day with the 6th most checks run since November 1998. Eight of the top ten highest days came in 2012 with the final day in the Top 10 coming in 2011. However, seven of the top weeks since November 1998 came in 2013 with the other three top 10 weeks coming in 2012.
Many still attribute high gun sales to fear of the government restricting various firearms, including multiple proposals and recommendations over the last year from President Obama. However, politicians have had a hard time passing any new Federal laws. While gun sales remain high, violent crime rates continue at low levels and Concealed Firearm Permit applications continue to increase.
**Understanding the Numbers**
The NICS Firearm background checks are not a perfect correlation with firearm sales, but are used to identify trends. The FBI reports on the number of firearm background checks initiated through the NICS, but for Utah that number also includes background checks for concealed firearm permit applications and renewals, as well as random checks on permit holders among other checks. It also does not account for private sales that do not have a background check run. The Utah BCI puts out a quarterly report where they reveal firearm checks that only include firearm sales from an dealer where a background check was run, but the 4th quarter report for 2013 is not currently released.