January NICS Background Checks Up Almost 25% Over Year Earlier

January 2020 background checks fbi data

Courtesy fbi.gov

The election year gun buying binge is accelerating. In the midst of the holiday gift-giving season, December’s adjusted NICS background check data — a good barometer of overall gun buying activity — was up a healthy 15%. But January’s number put that number to shame.

According to the latest adjusted data, January, 2020’s background check volume jumped almost 25% over the year-earlier period. The busy beavers who toil away to make the FBI’s National Instant Background Check system work performed over 2.7 million background checks last month. Again, that’s adjusted to back out carry permit application checks and follow-up checks that some states perform.

Remember that the FBI’s numbers don’t tell the whole story, either. More than 20 states don’t require concealed carry permit holders to undergo a background check when buying firearms. Which means the actual number of guns sold was much higher.

Did you do your part? What gun(s) did you buy in January to keep the momentum going?


  1. avatar jwm says:

    Last year in Jan. I bought Glock. This year in Jan. I bought a Benelli. I’m doing my part to keep Jan. stats up.

    1. Sorry, but that’s a net gain of zero percent. You’re just keeping even.

      Do better.

      1. avatar jwm says:

        K. Wouldn’t want to let the team down. How about I buy one in Feb, also?

        1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:


    2. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

      JWM you’re slacking. Haha. I did more than my share but they don’t count since my CPL is sufficient in Michigan to skip the NICS.

    3. avatar Jim from LI says:

      I picked up an 1862 pocket police. No NICS but black powder guns matter!

      1. avatar jwm says:

        I like the looks and style of the pocket police. But they don’t fit my hand nearly well enough. Pretty gun, though.

  2. avatar Taurus 4 Life says:

    Cames Jampbell accounted for 99.999% of the January increase.

    1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

      big coal bag fulla heritage house ruff winona ryders big brown frontier beaver specials?

      1. avatar Taurus 4 Life says:

        Hey want to know something funny? I lived below Winona Ryder for six months in 1989 in Sandusky, ohio

        1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

          you and many serbian exchange students working at cedar point.
          fangboner rd.

    2. avatar James Campbell says:

      Clueless as usual Taurus. I purchased a grand total of ZERO firearms last month.
      My big contribution year was 2018, 13 purchases in 12 months (none being plastic), with 2 purchases from Europe, the full export/import process taking 5 months.
      Hey, you still enjoying that Taurus?
      Need to keep my “chode” rating high with clueless trolls such as yourself.

  3. avatar Noal says:

    A trifecta of Ruger American Ranch Rifles (5.56, 300BLK, and 7.62×39).

    1. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

      If you don’t have the optic picked for the 300 black may I suggest the Redfield Revolution 2-7x33mm Riflescope withAccu-Range Reticle. With the center cross hair set for 100 yds with supers, the next BDC was on at 100 yds for subsonic.

    2. avatar Void says:

      Intermediate derby just need a 5.45 for the perfecta

  4. avatar former water walker says:

    Nothing yet this year…business is quite slow. And I’m somewhat set for the 1st time ever. Plans in the spring!

  5. avatar TechGuy says:

    Well, In January 2020 I bought a Rossi .22 (who could resist $99 with free shipping at PSA), a Taurus 856 ultra-light (for dawg walking Oh, and the Pachmayr laminated grips). But, with the introduction of Diane Feinstein’s “Assault Weapons Ban of 2019”, I bought a S&W AR for my girlfriend and then built 3 more AR’s in 5.56 and 300BLK. Then, I went deer hunting in TX and picked up a Mossy Patriot in .308…..Oh, and another 9mm…. and, a bunch of enhancements for my 1911’s…and…. scopes, etc. Have my eyes on a Grendel upper. My buddies put me to shame! Beretta 92’s, S&W’s, Sigs, Kimbers…. In my defense, I’m running out of room in the safe(s)! Then, there were several new calibers for the reloading bench….$$$$

    The correct number of guns to own is …one more than you currently own!

    1. avatar jwm says:

      I ran out of room so I bought another safe. If the house collapses my wife is going to be so pissed……..

      1. avatar Darkman says:

        Same thing happened to me some time back. Except the new safe is FULL of ammo. I had to go under the house and add extra support to the floor. Damn thing was bowing down. Haven’t bought any new firearms yet. Been lookin for a new reach out and touch someone rifle in 308. I try to keep keep the number of calibers to a minimum mainly NATO. Been buying mostly ammo for cache.

        1. avatar In for a penny, In for a pound says:

          You can’t go wrong with an m1a. If shtf, you can turn it full auto with a shoe string. Or get a 308 ar and if shtf you can use a coat hanger to make a dias.

      2. avatar James Campbell says:

        Just got finished setting up my 2nd Liberty safe last week. Installed the power kit, Golden Rod, remote temp/humidity transceiver with history function, TorchStar 3000k LED lighting kit (7 12″ bars) on motion sensor.
        Currently considering the pros/cons of a safe vs locker for ammo storage.

  6. avatar TechGuy says:

    TechGuy again… For your amusement, my girlfriend explained to me the other night that the “Left” views a gun owner as a person who owns “a gun”. I’m OK with that…

    1. avatar UpInArms says:

      Your girlfriend… she’s a blond?

      1. avatar TechGuy says:

        Actually, yes. And, Swedish. We’re in our 60’s…. She won’t give back my 1979 S&W Model10 with custom walnut grips… a Ruger LCP… The S&W AR… the 9mm… Don’t mess with her! She put one big hole in the center of the B29 on her CCL qual…

  7. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    All I got was another upper. Oh, And some reloading components.

  8. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

    I know I did my part for Feb.’s numbers, yesterday.

  9. avatar Jimbo says:

    Nothing in January, but I just picked up a Glock 32. In December I snagged a slightly used 3″ GP-100 Talo Edition.

  10. avatar Ark says:

    And prices are, accordingly, jacking up across the board.

    Everything Palmetto sells has increased 10-15% since last January, along with free shipping mysteriously winking out of existence.

    1. avatar frank speak says:

      still thinking about a ‘shockwave”…but PA gas already chosen to register them…can’t even have non-firing replicas shipped to us anymore…

      1. avatar In for a penny, In for a pound says:

        I would go 20guage if it us for two legged predators. My friend uses on of those as his hiking trail gun. The barrel fits on his wheelchair foot guard peg, which makes it stay put on the trails. He smelled the bear first then he saw it at 20 yards and grabbed the slug gun over his chest rigged 10mm. He doesn’t have much lateral movement so he will get hurt by the bear’s forward momentum, but not eaten.

  11. avatar Hannibal says:

    Just bought my first HK pistol thanks to the gundeals reddit. That place is at once great and terrible for finances because great deals pop up… but too often. Almost thought about picking up a Beretta 1301 tac but I think my bank account needs a rest.

  12. avatar LifeSavor says:

    I had been planning a Bond Arms purchase in Jan, but I needed to replace my sliding miter saw and I needed a drill press for a big project at home. So, maybe this summer…

  13. avatar Enoch Blonck says:

    Been wanting to acquire a used, but in good operable condition, A-10 Wart Hog.
    Saw one empty its load at the Reno Air Races during 1972.
    Seemed then, and now, a perfect tool to control vermin.
    Anybody know of one for sale?


  14. avatar TechGuy says:

    TechGuy (again???), Hey, off topic but, uses for the AR? I like rabbit, pheasant, duck, deer… etc. Always hunted rabbit with a 1932 Winchester bolt .22… Planning on retiring in the south… Illinois sucks! I obviously have a few guns. I always loaded “bunny farts” for my daughters… they LOVE the 1911’s! I wouldn’t shoot a deer with less than the .308 or super 300blk. I bought the ARs because the Dems want to take them away. They’re a lot of fun but, other than “home invaders” (the .223 isn’t an overpenetrating round), would you use an AR on rabbit? I can download until it just cycles the action.

    We have a nice group here. What are your thoughts?

  15. avatar Rusty - Molon Labe - Chains says:

    My purchases don’t count and I won’t do a NICS when I don’t have to since my carry license means I can skip them. Not doing much to carry my weight since I only made one purchase last year. I will try to do better this year, but funds are limited!

  16. avatar Ralph says:

    Iā€™m not buying anything until I settle my contract with Uncle Sam on April 15th.

  17. avatar enuf says:

    Bought the Ruger PC Carbine in 9mm right at of December. Because I’d be sick, real sick, had come thru and decided to celebrate.

    It was either that or … I dunno, a cake or some shit.

    Also in December I ordered a Remington R51 but they ran out and had to find more at the sale price. Gun finally arrived in January, so that’s when the sale closed.

    So I covered both years.

  18. avatar RidgeRunner says:

    Dec/Jan busy for me, picked up a Beretta 81 Cheetah and a S&W Model 10, both police trade-ins on Classic, plus a used Ruger Super Redhawk in .44 at my LGS, and a Browning Hell’s Canyon A-bolt in 30-06 (topped with a Leupy) from Bud’s. S&W E-Series 1911 in .45 on the way, yo.

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