July’s adjusted background check total of 1.3 million was up slightly from June and represented the second highest total for the month in history (set, of course, in July of 2020).
From the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s Mark Oliva . . .
There were nearly 1.3 million background checks conducted for the sale of a gun in July, holding steady and slightly higher than June’s figure of 1,279,300. This is the second-highest July for Adjusted NICS figures, second only to last year’s record-breaking figure of 1.8 million. That’s a strong demand signal from the American public that there is steady and strong appetite for continued firearm sales.
Summer is typically a part of the year when firearm sales will slow, but July’s figures defy that trend. Americans are still buying guns and they’re buying them in numbers higher than previous years and at a pace that would have been unpredictable two or three years ago. To date, more than 11 million background checks have been completed for the sale of a gun.
Firearm manufacturers continue serving a market that is on an 16-month-long streak of elevated sales. Manufacturers have been meeting this demand, but it is clear that customer demand has yet to be satisfied. While manufacturers have performed and incredible feats to meet this unprecedented demand, this sustained record-level of firearm sales shows that with greater inventory, it is likely background checks for gun sales have the potential to be even higher.
Factors that continue to drive sales are undeniably concerns for personal safety, along with overtures from the Biden administration to pursue a strict gun control agenda. Those measures include the proposed ban on brace-equipped AR pistols, the proposal to redefine frame or receiver and regulate out of existence the ability of law-abiding Americans to build their own firearms in the home for personal use and the nomination of David Chipman to be director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), a gun control lobbyist who advocates for banning the Modern Sporting Rifle (MSR).
With a president who blurts out that he thinks semi-automatic handguns should be outlawed and an ATF Director nominee who wants a new “assault weapons” ban still in play, Americans aren’t slowing their gun-buying roll.
Here’s the NSSF’s press release . . .
The July 2021 NSSF-adjusted National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) figure of 1,291,298 is a decrease of 30.1 percent compared to the July 2020 NSSF-adjusted NICS figure of 1,848,307. For comparison, the unadjusted July 2021 FBI NICS figure 2,860,476 reflects a 20.9 percent decrease from the unadjusted FBI NICS figure of 3,614,192 in July 2020.
The total NSSF-adjusted NICS January – June 2021 reflects a decrease of 8.8% compared to the same time period in 2020.
The July 2021 figures were the second strongest for the month on record, surpassed only by July 2020, when 1.8 million background checks for a firearm sale were conducted.
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. 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.
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.