From the NSSF:
The July 2020 NSSF-adjusted National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) figure of 1,848,307 is an increase of 122.5 percent compared to the July 2019 NSSF-adjusted NICS figure of 830,579. For comparison, the unadjusted July 2020 FBI NICS figure 3,614,192 reflects an 80.3 percent increase from the unadjusted FBI NICS figure of 2,004,277 in July 2019.
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 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 Alabama, and March 3, 2020 for Michigan. In July 2020, Alabama state’s NSSF-adjusted NICS was 230.1 percent higher than July 2019, which accounts for an additional 40,906 checks over this time last year. July 2020 NICS numbers for Michigan were up 403.8 percent over June 2019 and account for an additional 56,359 checks.
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.
The NSSF’s Mark Oliva tells TTAG that . . .
These are historic figures for firearm sales that have outpaced last year’s figures each month and have set monthly records since March. July’s background checks for the sale of a firearm were more than one million higher than the same period last year. This period of sustained firearm purchases clearly shows that Americans continue to take responsibility for their personal safety, especially during times of uncertainty.
The confluence of COVID-19 restrictions, civil unrest, calls to defund law enforcement and political figures and courts that are unwilling to hold criminals accountable for their actions are undeniable factors causing Americans to assess their own personal safety and choose to exercise their right of personal protection.
Additionally, talk by political figures in a presidential election cycle of instituting strict gun control, banning entire classes of firearms, and severely restricting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans are being seen.