The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Conference Center > General Discussion Forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old February 7, 2013, 12:16 PM   #1
Ike666
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 10, 2009
Location: SW VA
Posts: 423
Ten-year trend

The day before yesterday the AP released an article reporting that gun sales had dipped in January. You have to read about halfway into the article before you find the acknowledgement that the January sales dip is well known in the industry and that this Jan's dip was only 10% whereas historically it has been about 30+%.

I have been studying NICS trends for about five years now and, to say the least, the last ten years have been interesting.



You can see the result of the pent up demand in late 2004 and early 2005 with a slow, steady increase. But then it starts to accelerate in the summer of 2005 and begins the long, steady climb. You can also clearly see the effect of the 2008 election and that buying spree lasted well into the summer of 2009. It dipped late that summer, but by Jan 2010 began another uninterrupted climb to the present.

I understand the obvious forces working here, but I'd be interested in others ideas about some of the spot trends. For example, why the dramatic acceleration from summer 2005? Also, it seems that the summer slump in the seasonal trend (dashed line) gets shorter each year and the fall spree leaps higher - why?
__________________
___________________
"I'm your huckleberry."
Ike666 is offline  
Old February 7, 2013, 01:02 PM   #2
Spats McGee
Staff
 
Join Date: July 28, 2010
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 4,703
If we're just looking at raw NICS checks numbers, I'd also be curious to see how population growth fits into that equation. Are we just looking at more purchases because of more population, or are we looking at a rising % of the population buying guns?
__________________
A gunfight is not the time to learn new skills.

If you ever have a real need for more than a couple of magazines, your problem is not a shortage of magazines. It's a shortage of people on your side of the argument. -- Art Eatman
Spats McGee is offline  
Old February 7, 2013, 01:45 PM   #3
ScottRiqui
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 27, 2010
Location: Norfolk, VA
Posts: 2,905
The increase in NICS checks is definitely outstripping the overall population growth. The peak number of NICS checks per year has increased more than 100%, while the U.S. population has only increased about 7% since 2004.

We can't say for certain from the graph that an increasing portion of the population is buying guns, though. It could be that the same portion who have always bought guns have just been buying them more frequently since 2004 (I would fall into that group). But realistically, I suspect that a significant portion of the increase comes from new gun owners as well.
ScottRiqui is offline  
Old February 7, 2013, 02:02 PM   #4
Ike666
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 10, 2009
Location: SW VA
Posts: 423
Spats: U.S. population growth from 2000 to the Jan 2013 estimate is 12.03%

Total annual U.S. NICS checks for the period 2003 to 2012 is 130.92%. Even if we allow a 1:1 correspondence, that leaves a growth rate of 118.89%.

The NSSF data indicates that for long time gun owners, the average owner has 7.4 (+/-) handguns and new owners have 2.? per individual. Most longtime owners bought at least one HG in the last 12 months and also bought at least one in the last 12 months. (I can't put my hands on the study right now).

We do know that most owners own more that one, and own more than one type of gun. Longtime owners clearly own quite a few in each case. I personally don't think this counts for the increase - I don't think current owners are binge buying enough to account for the increase. But I can't support that empirically with the data I have.
__________________
___________________
"I'm your huckleberry."
Ike666 is offline  
Old February 7, 2013, 02:09 PM   #5
ScottRiqui
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 27, 2010
Location: Norfolk, VA
Posts: 2,905
In your graph, how many data points are there? Is it one per month, or one per quarter? Also, what's the significance of the solid line?
ScottRiqui is offline  
Old February 7, 2013, 02:09 PM   #6
spacecoast
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 14, 2009
Location: Sunshine and Keystone States
Posts: 4,006
In addition to the overall growth, what strikes me is the the amazing consistency in the yearly patterns. The primary spike is always followed by a secondary spike of approximately the same relative magnitude, year after year. It's almost too consistent to be believable. Where do you get these numbers?
spacecoast is offline  
Old February 7, 2013, 02:12 PM   #7
Dr Big Bird PhD
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 26, 2012
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 778
I can't wait to see this graph when the end of 2012 numbers are added into the equation.
__________________
I told the new me,
"Meet me at the bus station and hold a sign that reads: 'Today is the first day of the rest of your life.'"
But the old me met me with a sign that read: "Welcome back."
Who you are is not a function of where you are. -Off Minor
Dr Big Bird PhD is offline  
Old February 7, 2013, 02:21 PM   #8
lcpiper
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 15, 2011
Posts: 1,342
The overall trending is because the baby-boomers are out of the equation. The generation after the boomers, and their kids, are the ones doing to buying. Any of you nascent boomers who fit between the years are simply anomalies in the equation


Other then that, the dotted line is effected by Hunting Season, Christmas and Tax Season, and school being out for the summer..
__________________
Colt M1911, AR-15 | S&W Model 19, Model 27| SIG P238 | Berreta 85B Cheetah | Ruger Blackhawk .357MAG, Bearcat "Shopkeeper" .22LR| Remington Marine Magnum SP 12GA., Model 700 SPS .223
lcpiper is offline  
Old February 7, 2013, 02:23 PM   #9
Ike666
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 10, 2009
Location: SW VA
Posts: 423
This chart is based on a time series analysis of the Total U.S. NICS monthly data from JAN 2003 through JAN 2013. Unit of analysis in monthly and there are 121 months in the dataset (I just added Jan 2013). The solid line is the extracted trend from the multiplicative decomposition of the time series and the dashed line in is the seasonal variation by the trend. There is a lag at the beginning of the plot to complete moving averages.

In the seasonal variation, the peak is always December and the valley right after is January. If you squint and hold your face just right you can see the node for each month in the seasonal line.
__________________
___________________
"I'm your huckleberry."
Ike666 is offline  
Old February 7, 2013, 02:29 PM   #10
ScottRiqui
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 27, 2010
Location: Norfolk, VA
Posts: 2,905
Quote:
The overall trending is because the baby-boomers are out of the equation. The generation after the boomers, and their kids, are the ones doing to buying. Any of you nascent boomers who fit between the years are simply anomalies in the equation
Right now, the "Boomers" are between 48 and 65, so they're probably still a big part of the "disposable income" crowd. I know that the gun shows I go to always have a large "grey" population!
ScottRiqui is offline  
Old February 7, 2013, 02:33 PM   #11
lcpiper
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 15, 2011
Posts: 1,342
No way, boomers stopped being boomers if they were born after '60. I was born in '60 so I am in the first batch of the "tweener" generation. Ain't no boomers younger then 53 right now. If they think they are a boomer they have an identity complex

And I did say that there were some technically boomer aged guys in here who simply don't fit the norm. But come on, if you don't recognize the idea that all this "we need a better world" thing also corresponds with the boomer generation then I think someone needs glasses for their mind
__________________
Colt M1911, AR-15 | S&W Model 19, Model 27| SIG P238 | Berreta 85B Cheetah | Ruger Blackhawk .357MAG, Bearcat "Shopkeeper" .22LR| Remington Marine Magnum SP 12GA., Model 700 SPS .223

Last edited by lcpiper; February 7, 2013 at 02:52 PM.
lcpiper is offline  
Old February 7, 2013, 02:37 PM   #12
ScottRiqui
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 27, 2010
Location: Norfolk, VA
Posts: 2,905
I guess it depends on whose definition you use, but I think the most widely-used range (from the U.S. Census Bureau) goes from 1946 to 1964.
ScottRiqui is offline  
Old February 7, 2013, 03:03 PM   #13
lcpiper
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 15, 2011
Posts: 1,342
Well, the census bureau is about the birthrate.

But any real talk of boomers is talking about sociology-political impact etc... Face it, I was born in '60 and I wasn't even in junior-high when all that stuff was going on and by the time I did get to where I could have had an impact, nothing much was going on.

When you have Disco and Bay-Watch, the rest all fades to the back of the bus
__________________
Colt M1911, AR-15 | S&W Model 19, Model 27| SIG P238 | Berreta 85B Cheetah | Ruger Blackhawk .357MAG, Bearcat "Shopkeeper" .22LR| Remington Marine Magnum SP 12GA., Model 700 SPS .223
lcpiper is offline  
Old February 7, 2013, 04:13 PM   #14
gc70
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 24, 2005
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 2,442
January 2013 (2,495,440) is down 10.36% from December 2012 (2,783,765).

But January 2013 is still 24.34% greater than the highest month in history prior to December 2012 (November 2012 was 2,006,919).
gc70 is offline  
Old February 7, 2013, 05:13 PM   #15
Dr Big Bird PhD
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 26, 2012
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 778
2,783,000 background checks? WOW.
__________________
I told the new me,
"Meet me at the bus station and hold a sign that reads: 'Today is the first day of the rest of your life.'"
But the old me met me with a sign that read: "Welcome back."
Who you are is not a function of where you are. -Off Minor
Dr Big Bird PhD is offline  
Old February 7, 2013, 11:12 PM   #16
Tom Servo
Staff
 
Join Date: September 27, 2008
Location: Foothills of the Appalachians
Posts: 9,474
Quote:
If we're just looking at raw NICS checks numbers, I'd also be curious to see how population growth fits into that equation.
More to the point, those numbers won't include private sales. Another factor is that many states allow buyers with carry permits to bypass the NICS check.

So, there are likely many more sales not being measured there. Scientifically speaking, I'd say 41.574%.
__________________
In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.
--Albert Camus
Tom Servo is offline  
Old February 8, 2013, 08:14 AM   #17
Armorer-at-Law
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 29, 2002
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 323
Quote:
Also, what's the significance of the solid line?
It appears to be a running average.
__________________
Send lawyers, guns, and money...

Armorer-at-Law.com
Armorer-at-Law is offline  
Old February 8, 2013, 08:54 AM   #18
Ike666
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 10, 2009
Location: SW VA
Posts: 423
It is similar to a moving average but it is actually locally smoothed trend (regression) line plotting NICS (Y) against Time (X).

I'd also like to re-ask my original question(s). This is a dramatic rise in NICS checks. We are using it as a general interest in firearms indicator (NICS checks measure a lot more than just sales, such as permit applications and so on). What we are really interested in are the social forces that are driving this phenomenon.

I've been a shooter my whole life (6 decades now) and I have never seen such widespread interest in guns, shooting, shooting sports, hunting, personal defense, and such.

The scientist in me wants to know, Why and Why now?
__________________
___________________
"I'm your huckleberry."

Last edited by Ike666; February 8, 2013 at 09:03 AM. Reason: added statement
Ike666 is offline  
Old February 8, 2013, 09:06 AM   #19
spacecoast
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 14, 2009
Location: Sunshine and Keystone States
Posts: 4,006
Quote:
No way, boomers stopped being boomers if they were born after '60. I was born in '60 so I am in the first batch of the "tweener" generation.
Boomers go from '46 to '64, so you are a boomer (as am I).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baby_boom

http://www.history.com/topics/baby-boomers

http://www.investopedia.com/terms/b/baby_boomer.asp
spacecoast is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:11 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2013 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.10598 seconds with 7 queries