Americans are Buying Guns. Lots and Lots of Guns

background check graphic

Graphic courtesy of NSSF

The National Shooting Sports Foundation has released adjusted data from the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) for March 2020 — and the figures were the highest for any month since record-keeping began.

March 2020 totaled 2,375,525 checks for the sale of a firearm, an increase of more than a million checks, or 80.4 percent, compared to the March 2019 NSSF-adjusted NICS figure of 1,317,114.

Other notable months for NSSF’s adjusted NICS data include 2,237,731 in December 2012 and 2,235,560 in December 2015.

The March figures helped propel first-quarter 2020 sales to a +1.4 million gain over last year. The first quarter 2020 NSSF-adjusted National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) figure of 4,841,126 reflects an increase of 41.8 percent over the 3,414,361 figure for first quarter 2019.

For comparison, the unadjusted March 2020 FBI NICS figure 3,709,562 reflects a 42.4 percent increase from the unadjusted FBI NICS figure of 2,604,927 in March 2019.

Though not a direct correlation to firearms sales, the NSSF-adjusted NICS data provide an additional picture of current market conditions. In addition to other purposes, NICS is used to check transactions for sales or transfers of new or used firearms.

It should be noted that these statistics represent the number of firearm background checks initiated through the NICS. They do not represent the number of firearms sold or sales dollars. Based on varying state laws, local market conditions and purchase scenarios, a one-to-one correlation cannot be made between a firearm background check and a firearm sale.

Also, 25 states currently have at least one qualified alternative permit, which under the Brady Act allows the permit-holder, who has undergone a background check to obtain the permit, to purchase a firearm from a licensed dealer without a separate additional background check for that transfer. The number of NICS checks in these states does not include these legal transfers based on qualifying permits and NSSF does not adjust for these transfers.

Recently, the states of Alabama and Michigan had law changes that affected their Brady Law standing, which removed qualifying alternate permits usage for firearm transactions. These changes went into effect July 22, 2019 for Alabamaand March 3, 2020 for Michigan.

In March 2020, Alabama state’s NSSF-adjusted NICS was 212.1 percent higher than March 2019, which accounts for an additional 41,348 checks over this time last year. March 2020 NICS numbers for Michigan were up 210.8% over March 2019 and account for an additional 57,599 checks.

 the NSSF-adjusted NICS data provide an additional picture of current market conditions.

The adjusted NICS data are derived by subtracting out NICS purpose code permit checks and permit rechecks used by states for CCW permit application checks as well as checks on active CCW permit databases. NSSF started subtracting permit rechecks in February 2016.

comments

  1. avatar Hannibal says:

    I wonder if the people laughing at people buying guns are the same ones that laughed at people buying toilet paper… and then ended up having to wipe with t-shirts.

    Human nature is part of any natural disaster.

    1. avatar 41mag says:

      Cue the quote from Rutger Hauer’s movie

      https://youtu.be/hH69ZrCmgm8

      1. avatar enuf says:

        Yup, one of those many movies from back when Kim Catrall was young and frequently naked.

    2. avatar guest says:

      Today was a huge day for gun sales. Big time uptick in sales from the stimulus. Probably 100k guns just today, and I’d bet a million additional sales by the end of the month.

  2. avatar former water walker says:

    Cool😎! And a % will vote “guns”. How big depends on stupid they are!😏

  3. avatar DesertDude says:

    Outstanding! One of the only silver linings to come out of this whole mess. The more firearms bought, the more people will feel they need to have one, once they see family, friends and neighbors taking responsibility for their own safety. I sincerely hope that this stops the gun-grabbers in their tracks.

    It also seems firearms retailers are encouraging new owners to learn how to properly and safely use their new purchase. Kudos!

    As I have said before, all law-abiding Americans should purchase as many firearms and as much ammunition as they can afford and safely store.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      I cannot ever remember buying a new gun that did not have an instruction manual with it and safety instructions. And I’ve been doing this since before the internet. New owners have a wealth of info available to them.

      I love you tube for that reason. I can get vids on how to work a gun, work on a volve, install a dishwasher…. the list is endless.

      1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

        Oh, heck yeah.
        Fixed a soldered joint on a turn signal relay after following a you tube instructional video.
        I would have never thought of looking there.
        Cost at a shop- $100 + bucks an hour to diagnose an intermittent electrical problem…
        My final cost- maybe 25 cents in electricity.

        It’ll be a bummer if the net ever goes down.

        1. avatar SAFEupstateFML says:

          The good/bad news there is you are more likely to have a collapse in the electrical grid before the internet goes down entirely.

        2. avatar I Haz A Question says:

          Tom,

          I downloaded instructional videos from YouTube for every make/model of gun I have in my collection, in case YT ever updates their policies (again, for the umpteenth time) and finally pulls them down. In fact, I’ll be referencing one of them tomorrow as I perform a full takedown and cleaning of an older Ruger.

        3. avatar strych9 says:

          To be fair, a Chilton/Haynes manual would have had you covered on that too and it doesn’t require an internet connection or electrcity.

        4. avatar jwm says:

          S9. I didn’t have the manual for a volvo. Now its quicker and certainly easier to hit youtube. And cheaper. If I was a dedicated car guy I could see the need to keep a library.

        5. avatar Geoff "Guns. LOTS of guns..." PR says:

          “Fixed a soldered joint on a turn signal relay after following a you tube instructional video.”

          YouTube (and the internet in general) has been a boon for home repair of even complex things. Punch the make and model number in advanced search, exact phrase, and you will likely find a common failure part to replace…

      2. avatar former water walker says:

        Dang near everything I know about guns comes from YouTube. Especially AR’s. It seemed a daunting task learning all the intricate details of cleaning,lubricating,shooting ,disassembly & reassembly. Handguns were EZ in comparison. No gun buddies nearby and no way I’m paying anyone. But now I’m “somewhat” competent. Still haven’t fully cleaned the BCG…but my buddy down near Kankakee,ILLinois said he’d help😏

        1. avatar jwm says:

          Its been 50 years since I cleaned an m16. The BCG was gull of fiddly bits as I recall. If I was to have to do it today I’d watch a youtube vid at least twice before I tried it.

        2. avatar former water walker says:

          Probably watched 10 clean yer BCG video’s. Lot’s of pins & tiny parts. Then I see YT guys claiming they’ve NEVER cleaned it in 10000rounds😃

  4. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    I’m watching tucker carlson now on fox interview gov murphy of New Jersey. Its really amazing to see. It explains at least one reason why americans are buying so many guns now.
    Too bad they didn’t figure that out this during the Obama administration.

    1. avatar Victoria Illinois says:

      One of the few times I wish I still had cable news. Tucker’s good….and “the Five at Five”, also. Jesse Watters=funny

      1. avatar Chadwick says:

        I hear that. I used to be able to find Tucker on a bootleg livestream on the tubes, but lately it’s been rough. He’s about the only tv that I’ll watch besides cooking shows and gun people/political/philosophical people on the tubes. I wish I could find a way to get Tucker without paying for normal cable. I’m sure there has to be a way on a Roku or something.

        1. avatar b72512ga says:

          I use Hulu, lot cheaper than cable.

        2. avatar World Wide says:

          YouTube. Not live though, may have to stay up a little later, usually multiple DVRs of his nightly show start showing up around 9 or 10.

    2. avatar former water walker says:

      Saw that too! HOW a leftard gov goes on Tucker and doesn’t know he will be reamed is beyond me😃Tucker is easily the best guy on FOX. Guttfeld is good but I’m not sure he “really” is pro-2A. Tucker is constantly threatened & harrased…

      1. avatar Chadwick says:

        I agree about gutfeld. I think he could be just going along to get along half the time. Hopefully he doesn’t turn into a morning Joe turncoat. Tucker’s been pretty solid on guns since he was with MSNBC or whatever it was. I don’t think he’s a gun guy exactly, but he knows that a lot of people are and that’s a right he seems to get. Pretty rare from someone with his upbringing and schooling. I guess Don jr is another example of this rare phenomenon.

  5. avatar Leighton Cavendish says:

    and that’s just the LEGALLY obtained ones…that need a background check
    imagine all of the family and friend transactions in free states…no background check required
    and then there are the totally illegal transactions
    and what about 80% builds?
    500M and counting maybe?

    1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

      80% builds…

      Several in my own household, plus all the ones I know of that my friends have built (with my involvement as advisor during the milling). Including the latest one only two weeks ago. I still have a couple more frames waiting to be turned into project builds.

  6. avatar jimmy james says:

    Guns are now a commodity like ammo, wheat and orange juice. Demand dictates price. I cant wait till the CC bills start rolling in and joe six pack has to sell his new gats to keep the lights on and I can buy them for dimes on the dollar. A 100 year crisis is not the time to get prepared.

    1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

      👍

  7. avatar Hydguy says:

    Not sure if they are counting states that don’t use the Fed system (VA and Fl don’t).
    If they are, I have 2 in that number

  8. avatar Texican says:

    What do you need? Guns. Lots of guns.

    https://youtu.be/vBe0CnrqcwU

  9. avatar strych9 says:

    Yeah, but like, who gives a fuck? Right?

    I mean they’re mostly dipshit nubz anyway. They don’t recognize the actual value of the things and will revert at the first chance, so there’s no gain here in terms of the 2A. If they weren’t prepped and ready to go before some arbitrary date then they’re fucking useless, worse, they’re flip flopping assholes to boot and probably fear based hoarders too.

    The only real gains are maybe these guns come up cheap later on and, in the immediate, the opportunity for them to be shit on by their betters who were quite clearly born superior in intelligence, skills and talent. Because, ya know what wins people over to our side? Informing those people, loudly and often, of just how much better we are than those who we deem not as good. It just works because everyone loves a self righteous cocksucker, amirite?

    I mean, what’s the point of being so obviously superior if we can’t rub our superiority in the face of the inferiors?

    Pretty impressive that a parody of a certain cross section of gun owners ends up sounding a lot like the antis, eh?

    1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

      …not sure I agree with your diatribe. One of my long time friends was a fence sitter for years. Pro-America and 2A rights, but not really that motivated to actually get a gun of his own. So a couple of years ago, before CA’s cutoff date, I got him a P80 frame serialized so he’d at least be legally grandfathered in to the new requirement. All that time passed, and he forgot all about it, at least until COVID-19 started taking up serious evening news airtime. Literally the week of our shutdown in CA, he bought all the parts and kits to complete the gun, and I soon after helped (advised, while he did the work) him get it done. Then took him through the Four Rules, how to load, unload, chamber check, dry fire train, etc.

      He now has his first gun he’s ever owned, and he’s very appreciative and interested in actual live fire training as soon as our ranges open up. Plus learning more about the wider world of guns and 2A rights.

      1. avatar strych9 says:

        I’m making fun of those POTG who are shitting on the newbies…

        The last line there tells you that the previous part of that post was a parody.

        1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

          Gotcha. 🙂

  10. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

    Piss off a Anti Constitutionalist,un American gun grabber, buy a gun or better yet build a gun.

    1. avatar Chadwick says:

      Agreed. I knew little about guns until I built my first ak.

  11. avatar Semperfit says:

    And how many more guns will be bought with the stimulus checks…

    1. avatar green Mtn. Boy says:

      There You GO !

    2. avatar Geoff "Guns. LOTS of guns..." PR says:

      “And how many more guns will be bought with the stimulus checks…”

      Well, that or a shiny new Icom state-of-the-art direct-sampling high-frequency software-defined radio.

      Egads. What to do? Indecision clouds my vision… : 😉

      1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

        Wow. Forgot all about that vid. One of the best One Hit Wonders of the ’80s (released in 1989, can’t believe it’s been that long!).

        1. avatar Geoff "Guns. LOTS of guns..." PR says:

          They were more than ‘one hit’, the one below you will recognize…

        2. avatar strych9 says:

          They also performed under the name Sharp Young Men. Pretty sure I have one of those cassettes around here somewhere. No way to play it at this point and the actual copy was purchased by my dad, probably around the release date of 1982, so before I was born… but I’d guess that the magnetic tape is still good.

          I wonder what a decent cassette deck goes for on Ebay these days. I need to take advantage of the speaker system built into this house… but first I need to pick an amp and, apparently, a cassette deck to go with my turntable.

        3. avatar Geoff "Guns. LOTS of guns..." PR says:

          “I wonder what a decent cassette deck goes for on Ebay these days.”

          You can get very nice one fairly cheaply if you shop smart. (But not S-Mart).

          After all these years the belts are usually toast. Some have literally disintegrated into a tar-like sticky, gooey mess. A few hours of *careful* cleaning of the pulleys and capstans with alcohol or a similar solvent usually gets that mess out of there.

          Replacement ones can usually be sourced for maybe 20 bucks, and that’s usually all it will need. Google for the factory service manual, lots of folks have them on PDF for the taking, but some will charge 10-20 bucks for a copy. Either way, very handy to have for when the electrolytic capacitors eventually go bad.

          The real problem is finding high-quality blank music tape, like the legendary Maxell UDXL II high-bias tape. Out of production by several decades now. Probably the best way to source those is to gamble on a used music tape auction on eBay.

          Bulk-erase them, put a new label on them, you should be good to go.

          Locally, I’d hit the pawn shops nearby, especially the ‘dirt’ shops for those machines. Or your local Craig’s list…

      2. avatar Geoff "Guns. LOTS of guns..." PR says:

        Crap, I blew it.

        *This* is “Indecision, clouds my vision”.

        (Though ‘Epic’ is still a cool tune…)

      3. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

        sdr could be nice for traveling.
        i’m too analog, scott tube tuners and 299’s, a dyna70 i built, stromberg carlson.
        i really need to put an antennae in the attic that’s dedicated to the commercial free wavelengths; local college radio is where it’s at.
        and all receivable by sdr; but it don’t sound the same.
        try to find wzrd 88.3 northeastern illinois university. no format whatsoever.

        1. avatar Geoff "Guns. LOTS of guns..." PR says:

          We have similar tastes, Dynacos are neat amps.

          I hope to find me a Scott vacuum tube tuner, I have a 1950s vintage Fisher FM stereo tuner to be restored one day.

          Get that antenna outside and high in the air, if possible. Attic is the second-best place.

          I love me some old tube radios…

    3. avatar Defens says:

      At least a portion of that check is going to a 3D printer. With my mill and lathe, I could make just about anything.

  12. avatar Coolbreeze says:

    This undeniably says that an overwhelming number of Ameicans do not trust government to protect them in a civil disorder situation.

  13. avatar Michael in AK says:

    And the 2 hunks if polymer and 1 hunk of aluminum alloy don’t even count in that number….

    1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

      Haha. Yup. And I hope that number is never, ever known.

  14. avatar dwb says:

    But not at Dicks!

    Lololololol

  15. avatar enuf says:

    I’ve a collection of YouTube’s on all sorts of homemade gun making. Neatest ones are a guy that takes aluminum cans or range brass to cast his own receivers. Melts the metal down in a small gas fired kiln. Makes a sand cast mold and pores in the molten brass or aluminum. Then machines a finished receiver out of it and it’s absolutely beautiful.

    There’s loads of videos, real craftsmanship!

    https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=range+brass+lower+receiver

  16. avatar enuf says:

    I do wish people would not buy in panic mode. But more is better than fewer and you cannot pick and chose to get your best wish, can you?

    So, yeah, it’s a good thing. Could be a better thing, time will tell.

  17. avatar possum says:

    Buying firearms is good for businesses, businesses pay taxes, taxes is what the gov runs on. The more We buy ,money buys votes,the stronger the 2 a becomes. The problem I’m having is finding the one I want at a decent price. I am going to repeat this as long as permitted. BE AN PATRIOT, join me IN MY NEVER AGAIN CHINA. Take a self pledge to never purchase another Made in China product. It’s not just the c19 my soapbox listeners, the list is endless. To touch a bit, 1972-73 I helped blow things up in a war to stop Communism. And now the sox I can afford, and can easily purchase, made in ,u know,. How to Make America Great Again buy a Harley

    1. avatar Texican says:

      I’m thinking once the Trump Train gets going again there will be a lot more incentives for companies to manufacture things in the US of A. If govt. would just get out of the way there wouldn’t be much of anything that couldn’t be made in the US better and at a reasonable price.

  18. avatar marion petty says:

    Katy G. Huddson If your interested in a work from home opportunity let me know! No prior experiences or degree needed, we get paid every Friday. It’s a great way to create an extra stream of income. Friend visit this site for more info…. www.2.gp/a71F0

    1. avatar Hydguy says:

      Go drink a gallon of bleach

  19. avatar Ralph says:

    “It is a dispiriting thought that the legacy of the coronavirus could be a stronger state, a more sheepish and fearful population, and a ruling class even more dedicated to globalism.”

    — Prof. David Azerrad, April 14, 2020

    I tend to agree. In just a short period of time, we’ve seen an attempted coup d’état and an abrogation of the First and Second Amendments. And the [email protected]@rds are getting away with it, which can only embolden them.

    Buy your guns now, before George Soros and his ilk take over completely.

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