Another indicator of gun sales returning to normality as the National Shooting Sports Foundation reports that adjusted NICS sales background check volume was about 1.2 million in January. The NSSF’s Mark Oliva tells TTAG that . . .
The NSSF Adjusted FBI National Instant Criminal Background Check System report of 1,190,856 shows us that there is a continued interest in firearm ownership in America. This marks the 30th month in a row that background checks for a firearm purchase topped 1 million in a single month and ranks as the fifth strongest for the month of January.
The firearm industry is coming off two record-setting years of firearm purchases and sustained production to meet that increased demand. While everyone is looking for what the “new” normal will be coming off those outsized years of background checks for the purchase of a gun, January’s figure of nearly 1.2 million shows that America’s demand for lawful gun ownership continues at a healthy and sustainable pace.
Here’s the NSSF’s press release on the January numbers . . .
The January 2022 NSSF-adjusted National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) figure of 1,190,856 is a decrease of 42.0 percent compared to the January 2021 NSSF-adjusted NICS figure of 2,052,130. For comparison, the unadjusted January 2022 FBI NICS figure 2,533,096 reflects a 40.9 percent decrease from the unadjusted FBI NICS figure of 4,288,240 in January 2021.
[Reminder: The bar was set high last January! Three of the top-10 weeks and one top-10 single day for the highest number of FBI NICS background checks occurred in January 2021.]
Please note: Twenty-five 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.
The adjusted NICS data were 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.
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.