The number of NICS background checks conducted by the FBI in 2019 came in at 28,369,750, the highest mark since the agency began the program in 1998. After an adjustment for the volume of concealed-carry permit applications, renewals and other administrative use of the system, Small Arms Analytics & Forecasting (SAAF)estimates the figure reflects total firearm sales of 13.9 million firearms last year.

Increases in handgun sales are playing a critical role in the market’s improvement. “One trend that will continue, however, is of the U.S. as a ‘handgun nation,’” Brauer said. “Since 2014, annual handgun unit sales have handily outpaced annual long-gun unit sales in 2019 by nearly 2.3 million units.”

Many AR and AK type rifles with short barrels and braces are categorized as pistols, so the increasing trend in pistol sales are driven by that segment of the market. It’s not all just pocket pistols although CCW and EDC type pistols do account for the majority of those sales. 2020 will drive the gun market up. I suspect it will exceed the estimates quoted above. The economy is stronger, and the push for gun control is stronger than in 16’.

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