Summer slump hits estimated gun sales hard in June

As temperatures rise across the country, gun sales slump — a historical trend unbroken last month, according to FBI data.

The agency processed 1.9 million applications through the National Instant Criminal Background System in June. Estimated gun sales — the sum total of transfers in the NICS’s handgun, long gun, multiple and other categories — declined 13 percent, totaling just 824,618 and marking the slowest June recorded since 2014.

NICS checks serve as a proxy measure for gun sales, albeit an imperfect one. Applications for concealed carry permits, periodic rechecks for licenses and a slew of smaller categories for pawns, redemptions, rentals and other rare situations undercut the total amount of checks processed in one month. Guns.com removes these categories from the total figure to more accurately assess actual transfers, though it’s still an estimate.

Dealers processed more than 474,000 applications for handguns and just under 293,000 applications for long guns in June. The latter represents an eight-year low for the category, according to FBI data.

Share prices for Smith & Wesson parent company American Outdoor Brands fell 2 percent Monday, though its unclear if the NICS data provoked the sudden drop — or whether its ongoing financial strain from more than a year of declining sales.

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