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Another month — 49 consecutive, to be exact — with 1 million or more gun sold in August. Because of Despite the Biden administration’s ongoing War on Guns, Americans have show exactly zero inclination to curb their desire to purchase firearms for every lawful purpose from hunting, plinking and competition to personal and home defense. May it ever be thus.

The NSSF’s Mark Oliva said . . .

August’s NSSF-Adjusted NICS figure of over 1.1 million shows us, once again, that the desire for lawful firearm ownership is far from over. Americans, literally by the millions, are investing in exercising their Second Amendment rights. This has happened every month for more than four years continuously.

While the Biden administration proposes rules to infringe on fundamental American rights and certain governors, attorneys general and district attorneys general and district attorneys refuse to lock up criminals that prey on communities without consequence, Americans are sending a clear and unequivocal message that their personal safety, and the free exercise of their rights, is non-negotiable.

Here’s the NSSF’s press release . . .

The August 2023 NSSF-adjusted National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) figure of 1,117,824 is a decrease of 13.1 percent compared to the August 2022 NSSF-adjusted NICS figure of 1,286,816. 

For comparison, the unadjusted August 2023 FBI NICS figure 2,047,515 reflects a -16.4% percent decrease from the unadjusted FBI NICS figure of 2,450,616 in August 2022.

August 2023 marks the 49th month in a row that has exceeded 1 million adjusted background checks in a single month.

Please note: Twenty-four 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.

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    • At this rate, it will be what, a total of 500 million in 8 year’s time? 🙂

      • Goeff PR,

        Interesting point, although I think your arithmetic is in error depending on exactly what your 500 million number represents.

        Even if every single background check corresponds to just one firearm purchase (which is not true–some single background checks are for multiple firearms in a single purchase) and we use the conservative estimate of 1 million firearm purchases every month for the last 49 months, that means people of the U.S. now have an additional 49 million firearms in the last 4 years (49 months / 12 months = 4.08 years), or 98 million additional firearms in the last 8 years.

        The really fun question is how many TOTAL firearms in civilian hands. If we had 400 million firearms in civilian hands 8 years ago, then we should have about 500 million firearms in civilian hands today.

        • uncommon,

          “Guesstimating” the number of civilian firearms is . . . fraught. Guns do, to a certain extent, ‘wear out’ if they are used heavily – most people don’t use MOST of their guns ‘heavily’. Even if a gun that is used heavily, they last a LOOONGG time, if well-maintained (and the folks who use guns heavily, in my experience, are pretty good about maintaining them). Even a gun that is allowed to deteriorate, or even rust, can usually be restored pretty quickly.

          At least in theory, most of the guns sold to civilians in the US should still be in ‘circulation’, if perhaps in less-than-ideal state. I took a 40 year old Remington 870 Wingmaster, that hadn’t been fired in probably 25 years, and had noticeable rust, from a closet wreck to fully useable (and in tribute to the old Remingtons, once cleaned and lubricated, it cycled like it was new).

          So, of the MANY hundreds of millions of firearms that have been sold in the US since, say, 1920, are probably sitting around SOMEWHERE, and probably usable or easily made so. 500 million? Probably, 600 million? I wouldn’t be surprised. 700 million? Not hard to imagine.

          That doesn’t even take into account the number of ‘home built’ guns that have been built since ‘80% lowers’ became a thing. Ditto 3D printed guns. Perhaps God knows; I’ve got no idea. I know I am in possession of at least three guns brought back to the US by various male members of my family over the years.

          The only thing I would say with some degree of confidence is, “A whole lot more than YOU think there are, Senile Joe and jackboot Dettelbach, so SUCK IT!!”. There is literally zero chance that the US public could been involuntarily disarmed. Frankly, even if the total number was only 200 or 300 million, rounding them all up would be the definition of futility. I don’t hope that they try, because thousands, if not millions, of people would die in the process – and some of them might even be decent people (not dog-shooters from the ATF).

          How many?? “More than enough, sh*thead, and that’s ALL you need to know.”

  1. When money is tight still most can afford a stripped receiver to put aside to complete over time. Or afford a few boxes of ammo, accessories, etc. You want your suppliers to always be rolling in the dough so to speak. Purchasing anything firearm related circles back to play a part in Defending The Second Amendment. And besides, Shopping around is fun.

    • I do agree with that. As for me, i upgraded a Ruger LCP MAX with a M*Carbo trigger and spring kit which made a huge difference in this dandy little pocket pistol. A couple of good fellows helped me because my eyesight is too poor for the close up work.

  2. Bought a few items and ammo in the last couple months. Mostly parts to keep existing firearms in good working order. Flat spring for an antique revolver, firing pin for a well used 22.
    Looked at several antique firearms but passed because of condition or difficulty of making or finding parts to bring them back to working condition. Still looking for an 1871-1872 Open top Colt revolver. Not many around and fewer at prices I’m able to pay.
    Considering a 9mm pocket pistol for my daughter to carry. Not my recommendation, but what she says she wants.

    • oldmaninAL,

      Regarding your daughter’s desire to carry a handgun:

      As you probably know well, she is most likely to carry a handgun that SHE chose and SHE wants to carry. And as I know that you know: having ANY handgun in a self-defense event is a HUGE advantage over having no handgun at all. Thus, if the only handgun that she is guaranteed to carry is a micro-pistol, that is far better than the bigger platform left at home. In that regard I encourage you to be happy that she is choosing to carry any handgun.

      In terms of the utility of a 9mm pocket pistol, it depends greatly on the threat scenarios for which your daughter wants to be prepared. If she wants to be able to dissuade single (or even pairs of) opportunistic thugs at contact distance looking to rob, carjack, rape, or murder her, just about any 9mm pocket pistol with careful ammunition selection will serve her well, assuming that her pocket pistol has 6 1 capacity or better. And since that probably covers in-excess of 97% of the events that she would ever face, that is a solid choice.

      I know that a major concern with micro pocket pistols is that they are very uncomfortable to shoot for target practice. I council people that you don’t need any target practice to be able to put rounds on target at contact distance. And if your daughter has to shoot in a bona fide self-defense event, she won’t even notice much less care how uncomfortable her micro-pistol is to shoot. So, being uncomfortable to shoot isn’t a liability at all for threat scenarios at contact distance.

      And there is another angle to this. Get her comfortable with carrying a micro pocket pistol for self-defense right now knowing that, after a year or two, she may be ready to move up to a larger platform. I know more than one woman who started out with a micro pocket pistol or an air-weight j-frame snubnose revolver for the first few years and then moved up to “larger” handgun platforms.

  3. And this doesn’t even cover private sales which are legal without a nanny-check.

    I may have knowledge of someone who’s purchased several firearms over the past couple of months and didn’t submit to a single NICS. Could be, maybe. Rumored. Anecdotal.

      • And Florida.

        It’s nice to just walk in a shop, look, dicker on price, plunk down cash, and walk out with a new toy that strikes your fancy.

        The way God herself intended… 🙂

        • Huh? The last time I purchased a firearm at a store, I had to do the NICS — even with my CWP.

          The only thing it did for me was to let me take it home that same day.

        • Nope. In FL, you will need to fill out a NICS form and get approval before you get your gun. The advantage of a FL CCW (license to carry) is that you will be exempt from the waiting period. But you will absolutely have to pass the background check.

      • From the May 27, 2023 issue of USA Carry
        List of Concealed Carry Permits Exempt from NICS Checks The ATF last updated its list on December 20, 2022, and we will continue to update ours in line with any changes made by the ATF.

        State or Territory Qualifying Permits
        Wyoming Concealed weapons permits qualify.
        Wisconsin None
        West Virginia Concealed handgun license issued on or after June 4, 2014 qualify.
        Washington None
        Virginia None
        Vermont None
        Utah Concealed weapons permits qualify.
        U.S. Virgin Islands None
        Texas Concealed weapons permits qualify.
        Tennessee None
        South Dakota Gold Card Concealed Pistol Permits and Enhanced Permits to Carry a Concealed Pistol issued on or after January 1, 2017 qualify. Regular Concealed Carry Permits issued on or after July 1, 2018 qualify.
        South Carolina Concealed weapons permits qualify.
        Rhode Island None
        Puerto Rico None
        Pennsylvania None
        Oregon None *
        Oklahoma None *
        Ohio Concealed weapons permits issued on or after March 23, 2015, qualifies as an alternative to the background check requirements.
        Northern Mariana Islands None
        North Dakota Concealed weapons permits issued on or after December 1, 1999 qualify. *
        North Carolina Concealed handgun permits qualify.
        New York None
        New Mexico None
        New Jersey None
        New Hampshire None
        Nevada Concealed carry permit issued on or after July 1, 2011, qualify.
        Nebraska Concealed handgun permit qualifies as an alternative. Handgun purchase certificates qualify.
        Montana Concealed weapons permits qualify.
        Missouri None *
        Mississippi License to carry concealed pistol or revolver issued to individuals under Miss. Stat. Ann. § 45-9-101 qualify. (NOTE: security guard permits issued under Miss. Stat. Ann. §97-37-7 do not qualify).
        Minnesota None
        Michigan Licenses to Purchase a Pistol (LTP) are the only permits that qualify as a NICS alternative.
        Massachusetts None *
        Maryland None *
        Maine None *
        Louisiana Concealed handgun permits issued on or after March 9, 2015 qualify. Lifetime Concealed Carry Permits qualify for the initial five-year period beginning on the original issuance date.
        Kentucky Concealed Deadly Weapons License (CDW) and Judicial Special Status CDW issued on or after July 12, 2006 qualify.
        Kansas Concealed handgun licenses issued on or after July 1, 2010 qualify as alternatives to the background check.
        Iowa Permits to acquire and permits to carry concealed weapons qualify.
        Indiana None
        Illinois None
        Idaho Concealed weapons permits qualify.
        Hawaii Permits to acquire and licenses to carry qualify.
        Guam None *
        Georgia Georgia firearms licenses qualify.
        Florida None *
        District of Columbia None *
        Delaware None *
        Connecticut None
        Colorado None
        California Entertainment Firearms Permit only
        Arkansas Concealed weapons permits issued on or after April 1, 1999 qualify. *
        Arizona Concealed weapons permits qualify.
        American Samoa None
        Alaska Concealed weapons permits marked NICS-Exempt
        Alabama None

        These states had permits or licenses that were grandfathered in when the Brady Act took effect. However, none of these permits or licenses are still valid.


  4. And what is really amazing is that according to giffords, moms demanding action and others all those guns were bought by three OFWGs in Alabama.

  5. All that we have to do is get an accurate count of how many blades of grass there are in the US.

  6. because the smartest people in the room
    paid attention in history class
    and are keeping up with current events
    so we see whats coming

  7. 49x1million.. Wow. that’s a lot of gunms.
    Gee some countries armies haven’t even gotten that much.
    If I was El Prezidente I’d have a warm and fuzzy feeling about that.
    A country that Arms itself, you betcha.

  8. When I’m not in financial shape to buy gats i always seem to scrape up something for reloading components at least once a month

  9. I bought a Saiga Auto 20 shotgun last month, I’ll be buying a Ruger 9mm Carbine next month and in December a Walther 22 pistol

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