November NICS Check Volume Shows Americans Buying Guns at a Faster Pace

As the NSSF revealed once again earlier today, we live in a country with far more guns that citizens. The anti-gun left blows a gasket each time the true extent of Americans’ firearm ownership is revealed and the NSSF’s numbers will probably send them into new paroxysms of hoplophobic hysteria.

They can’t conceive of why anyone needs even one gun, let alone a safe full. So the added news that the pace of gun buying is increasing won’t make for a happy holiday season for the gun-grabbing community.

They’ll claim this is more evidence of a sick, violent society when FBI statistics show the opposite is true. More guns have coincided with (resulted in?) far less violent crime.

Nothing gets people out to buy more firearms like perceived threats to their gun rights. As the NSSF chart above shows, gun stores were plenty busy over the long Thanksgiving weekend.

While the FBI’s adjusted NICS numbers only show a modest 2% increase over last year, 2019 is still on pace to set a new background check all-time record.

The Associated Press puts it this way . . .

Background checks on gun purchases in the U.S. are climbing toward a record high this year, reflecting what the industry says is a rush by people to buy weapons in reaction to the Democratic presidential candidates’ calls for tighter restrictions.

By the end of November, more than 25.4 million background checks — generally seen as a strong indicator of gun sales — had been conducted by the FBI, putting 2019 on pace to break the record of 27.5 million set in 2016, the last full year President Barack Obama was in the White House.

The 2020 field of Democrats have certainly done their part, as have promises of the imposition of more gun control laws in states like Virginia.

The crowded field of Democrats running for the White House has offered a variety of proposals to curtail gun rights. Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, whose state has seen repeated mass shootings in the last year, went so far as to push for a mandatory buyback program for AR- and AK-style rifles before dropping out of the race, stoking gun owners’ fears when he declared during a debate, “Hell, yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47.”

As the NSSF notes in their press release below, there are 25 states that don’t require background checks for gun purchases to current permit holders, so actual sales volume is likely significantly higher.

The November 2019 NSSF-adjusted National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) figure of 1,342,155 is an increase of 2.1 percent compared to the November 2018 NSSF-adjusted NICS figure of 1,314,193. For comparison, the unadjusted November 2019 FBI NICS figure 2,545,863 reflects a 7.7 percent increase from the unadjusted FBI NICS figure of 2,363,705 in November 2018.

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 Minnesota 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 October 19, 2018 for Minnesota.

In November 2019, Alabama state’s NSSF-adjusted NICS was 122.4 percent higher than November 2018 which accounts for an additional 27,959 checks over this time last year. Likewise, Minnesota’s NSSF-adjusted NICS for November 2019 was 29.2 percent higher than November 2018 which accounts for an additional 5,589 checks over the same time period.

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.

comments

  1. avatar Jim Wildrick Jr says:

    Encouraging news.My gun safe is full of great firearms including two AR”s. Enjoy shooting them all.

    1. avatar arc says:

      I need little guns for little things and big guns for big things. 22LR for paper and teaching, .308 – 25MM for other stuff.

      I still need to acquire a 20MM anti-tank rifle and a 25MM payload delivery rifle. Stupid NFA keeps getting in the way, that and $$$$$

  2. avatar California Richard says:

    I think people kind of understand that Trump is a once-in-a-generation thing. Once he’s gone, we’ll go back to the weak and compromising republicrats of conservative.org who’ll sell gun rights down the toilet for votes on a free trade deal with our enemies. Trump is no friend of gun rights but his court appointees are. Bush’s appointees have been gray on gun cases and owe their allegiance to the elite political class. People are stocking up for the next 30 years and bracing for impact.

    1. avatar Merle 0 says:

      That’s a fair assessment. I know since the election I’ve been taking the opportunity to stock up on the dole for the next go around. I would hope that Trumps victory would show some other non mainstream political figures how to win, but we’ll see.

    2. avatar Arc says:

      Exactly, Trump is the bull run on guns & ammo, preps. Once the breath of fresh air is gone, its back to being waterboarded.

    3. avatar Art out West says:

      Empires rise and empires fall, yet the Kingdom of Christ is eternal.

      The Empire of the United States is clearly in serious decline. Look at the USSR in 1985, it was a fearsome empire. By 1990, it had collapsed. The US is on its way out. I doubt it will exist thirty years from now. DC, Wall Street, and Hollywood could fall just like the Berlin Wall.

      Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Estonia, etc. replaced the USSR. Similarly, something will exist where the USA and Canada presently operate. Maybe States will spin off and form new unions. Maybe the Reconquista will claim the Southwest for Aztlan. Who knows? Maybe Vancouver BC will be a Chinese protectorate/colony. Maybe a smaller, weaker, and poorer America will remain (and that might not be a bad thing).

      Maybe the USA will survive, and go through another Depression or civil war. Once again, who knows? I certainly don’t know what will come.

      In this age, change is inevitable. Wise people prepare for change. Sensible folks realize it is better to be armed than unarmed when times are troubled.

      The Elect know that this current age is passing away, and trust Jesus Christ for eternal security.

      1. avatar JP Ruiz says:

        Atzlan will still be a shithole. Mexico has always been a backwards, statist society, so if the jackasses in that 3rd World Dump think that “La Reconquista” will bring them into a new utopia where all of their problems disappear, they need to divorce from Narco-Terror Statism first………No sign of that so far.

        They’ve been that way since Antonio Lopez De Santa Anna made himself a dictator and started the Mexican American War.

        1. avatar Art out West says:

          Of course Aztlan would be corrupt, crime ridden, and poor, much like Mexico. That doesn’t mean it won’t happen. The first Reconquista took 700 years. It looks like it will take less than 200 this time around.

          If we wanted to keep the Southwest we should have picked our own tomatoes, and had a lot more babies. The future belongs to those who show up. We should have guarded our own border instead of engaging in endless wars overseas.

        2. avatar The Crimson Pirate says:

          The way things are going in Mexico right now it might actually beat the US to dissolution. Cartels now operate as de facto governments and think nothing of direct attacks on civil authorities.

        3. avatar frank speak says:

          we conquered the place…then gave it back…should tell you something….

  3. avatar Trump’s reign of terror says:

    The madness continues.

    1. avatar GomeznSA says:

      Exactly what “madness” are you referring to? If it is the fact that the gun grabbers will not relent, you are correct.
      OTOH if you are making an oblique reference to the number of guns owned by Law Abiding Citizens, you are totally WRONG – we ain’t the problem.

      1. avatar Dude says:

        The madness is you finally have a republican president willing to stand up to democrats and call out the lying media. The media and dems (one and the same) as well as their mindless followers aren’t used to being called out, so naturally they are losing their minds. Their default position isn’t to debate anyone, but just call everyone a racist and Putin ally.

    2. avatar Merle 0 says:

      You’d Shit a brick if you saw what real “reign of terror” looked like.

      1. avatar UpInArms says:

        Ah, so you been there, done that?

        1. avatar Merle 0 says:

          Maybe I have 😉

    3. avatar tmm says:

      The madness continues.

      I imagine that would be one reason for continued sales…

    4. avatar frank speak says:

      and stupidity follows…seemingly endless attempts at restrictions invariably stimulate sales…odd that the left can’t see that…..

    5. avatar enuf says:

      “Reign of Terror”? Trump? No sarcasm or fool’n around?

      Methinks you need to lay off the sauce….

  4. avatar Rubiconcrossed says:

    Everyone is in a panic. They know Trump is on his way out and that the Dems are going to ban a lot of guns in 2020.

    1. avatar Merle 0 says:

      Yeah you keep thinkin that.

    2. avatar GomeznSA says:

      “Everyone is in a panic” – really? I’m certainly NOT and that puts the lie to your broad brush assertion – more like opinion.
      Plus – unless you are privy to inside information that the rest of us mere mortals have, exactly HOW do you know that DJT is “on his way out”

    3. avatar jwm says:

      The left is finished in America. They were bought by a real nazi, bloomberg. Dummies like you just haven’t got the memo yet.

      You will in 2020.

    4. avatar Art out West says:

      Enough of the dispair, and cowtow-ing!

      The Democrats, Rino’s, oligarchs, and beaurocrats and are in a panic! People are waking up to the corruption. That is why they are desperately seeking to disarm the peasants.

    5. avatar enuf says:

      Not seeing that at all. Trump is scum, absolutely and that has zero to do with his politics. But on his way out? How so?

      Even if the House brings an indictment (Impeachment is a civil-political indictment, not criminal, not a conviction) the Senate would still have to hold a trial. There is every likelihood the Senate will refuse. Or if the Senate goes ahead with a trial the rules and procedures will be whatever the Senate says. As in favorable to Trump.

      Regardless of all that, no way in hell a super-majority of two-thirds of the Senate will vote to convict Trump on any single article of Impeachment. That simply is not going to happen.

      1. avatar Dude says:

        “…the rules and procedures will be whatever the Senate says. As in favorable to Trump.”

        And the House proceedings have been the model of fairness and precedent, right? Give me a break. Actually, if you are honest with yourself and you have been paying attention, you would have to admit that it’s been a clown show of the highest order with a predetermined outcome (get Trump). It’s just more of same as the previous three years. This is just the latest attempt. An outside investigator / counsel didn’t work last time, so now they’re going with something they can control from start to finish.

        1. avatar enuf says:

          I didn’t say one word about the House rules and procedures. Don’t really give a shit about the House rules and procedures. But since you brought it up, they were written by Republican majorities which have managed to run oversight hearings and investigations in the house for most of the last 30 years. The rules Trump is sniveling about today were written by REPUIBLICANS.

          Doesn’t matter to me. I thought Trump was guilty as sin and should have been impeached and convicted for the unpardonable offense of announcing his candidacy. The instant he came down that “gold” elevator in his tower, he earned Impeachment and Conviction.

          Did it again the moment he lost the popular vote and won the Electoral vote.

          Hell, I’ve been ready for a Pence administration since Shrillary lost. Still ready for it. Not gonna’ get it, but I’m ready for it.

        2. avatar Dude says:

          “I didn’t say one word about the House rules and procedures. Don’t really give a shit about the House rules and procedures.”
          No, you said the Senate would make it favorable to Trump. You were implying unfairness, like stacking the deck. I’m pointing out the literal unprecedented (overused word, but it works here) unfairness of the House proceedings, not to mention the witnesses that weren’t even witness to anything. It was a show.

          “The rules Trump is sniveling about today were written by REPUIBLICANS.”
          Compare and contrast the last impeachment with this one. It isn’t remotely the same. It’s a kangaroo court that threw precedent and fairness out the window in the pursuit of power.

          “…should have been impeached and convicted for the unpardonable offense of announcing his candidacy.”

          Yes, you keep proving how much of a bigot you are.

          “Did it again the moment he lost the popular vote and won the Electoral vote.”

          You mean he actually had the audacity to win by the rules we have had in place for how long now??

        3. avatar Dude says:

          Not to mention a crime hasn’t even been proven. What’s the crime? So, prove it. Why do you think the left wing media keeps saying, “well you see it’s a political process, you don’t really have to prove a crime has been committed.” Bribery, right? They weren’t even saying that at first. They literally started saying that after conducting a focus group. Yeah, these are real serious, prayerful people, right? And Obama trying to secretly deliver pallets of cash to Iran was totally on the up and up, right? Imagine Trump doing the same thing to Russia. You’re not only a bigot, you’re a joke just like Pelosi and Co.

        4. avatar enuf says:

          How the hell is it that so many Americans never learned Civics in school? Was no one paying attention? Did they not teach this stuff when you were young?

          Impeachment is not a criminal process. Never has been. Even if crimes are alleged, it is still not a criminal process. It is a civil and political process. The standards to Impeach do not now and never in history have required the level of certainty or the rules of evidence that apply to a criminal case. Not in the English law the Founders based Impeachment on, not in any impeachment of any Federal judge or other political appointee in our history. Not with Johnson, Nixon (he quit first anyway), Clinton or Trump.

          It is political and civil and nobody goes to jail if impeached. The worst thing that can happen is in the civil/political trial in the Senate, the Impeached person loses their political job.

          Trump is an amoral, emotionally dysfunctional, out of control train wreck of a man-child with no idea what he is doing and no ability either. He has made a massive mess of things. Sadly he is likely to continue doing so for a total of eight years, as there is no possibility of him being convicted at trial in the Senate.

          Even the current House action is far from being certain. But then it is following rules created by the previous Republican majority, so at least that party owns any perceived unfairness.

        5. avatar Dude says:

          “Did they not teach this stuff when you were young?”

          I already mentioned above that it is a political process. Do you not read before you post? My point is they tried to pivot to bribery, as in they put it out in the echo chamber pliant media to make it sound bad. Okay, so where’s the proof of bribery? Where’s the proof of corruption? They didn’t prove any of that. If you don’t think there should be a high threshold for impeachment, then why wouldn’t ANY party that’s in control just impeach ANY person they don’t like? If that’s the standard, then Obama should have been impeached, and we’ll probably be impeaching about every president from here on out. You don’t have a problem with that? Or it’s okay as long as you don’t personally like the person?

          Food for thought. So running for political office shields you from investigation, right? That’s their argument. “It’s wrong because he’s a political rival.” Where is that in the Constitution? So what about the investigation into the Trump campaign based on FABRICATED charges?? Yet we have real evidence of corruption from Biden and in Biden’s own words Obama was aware of it. “Go ahead and call the White House.” Your hatred for Trump blinds you.

        6. avatar Dude says:

          You bring up Nixon and Clinton. There were actual crimes committed there, not just process crimes brought about by the investigation, or previous crimes like tax evasion that had absolutely nothing to due with Trump. Clinton even lost his license to practice law. So if you want to compare it that’s fine, but it’s a completely different ball game, so let’s acknowledge the differences. Clinton was also afforded due process. They through that out the window for the Schiff Show.

        7. avatar Dude says:

          *By process crimes, I’m talking about peripheral figures like Papadopoulos and Flynn, who were actually set up, but that’s another story. The did get Clinton on actual proven process crimes, but not Trump.

        8. avatar Dude says:

          “Trump is an amoral, emotionally dysfunctional, out of control train wreck of a man-child with no idea what he is doing and no ability either. He has made a massive mess of things.”

          Your personal opinion has nothing to do with impeachment, yet it has everything to do with it. The fools in charge think just like you do. This is why they’re doing it. It has nothing to do with Pelosi’s fake “Constitutional duty.” Just like it has nothing to do with her fake prayers. Let’s debate the facts. Try to leave your personal bias at home.

  5. avatar GomeznSA says:

    The article had much good info but also some disinformation as well. Case in point: “repeated mass shootings in Texas” – can someone please explain how many constitutes “repeated” – 5 – 10 – 100?
    BTW – now is a buyers market – the over production and surplus still remains from the ‘prediction’ that hillz would get her crown – and people were worried about what she would do. Now Virginia shows exactly what would have happened.

  6. avatar richardmia92 says:

    thats nice. thanks for sharing.

  7. avatar WI Patriot says:

    I missed the Nov #’s, but I’ll be in the Dec #’s…

  8. avatar jonndoe says:

    More reason to build your own pistols and riffles, I also think that gun control/registration violates everyone’s 2nd and 4th Constitutional Amendment right’s.

    But, WTF do I know I’m just a law abiding citizen.

  9. avatar Shire-man says:

    Everyone knows people are buying because of NRA fear-mongering. Nothing at all to do with every Dem in the field spending hours going on about bans, mandatory buybacks, confiscations and threatening to nuke gun owners. It’s all that evil NRA and their panhandling mailers tricking people.

    1. avatar Peregrine Took and Meriadoc Brandybuck says:

      Shire-man,
      Perhaps Hobbits are simply preparing to scour Sharkey and his crew from the Shire

      Hobbits love peace, beer, and good food. That doesn’t mean they will tolerate eternal abuse from Saruman type wizards.

      Having drunk the water of Treebeard, we are now tall and fed up.

      1. avatar former water walker says:

        I believe Shire-man lives in New HampSHIRE genius…

  10. avatar Texican says:

    And that’s not counting all the concealed carry licensees who don’t have to go thru a background check to buy a gun and those who are finishing 80% guns. Is there any way to guesstimate those numbers?

    1. avatar SAFEupstateFML says:

      Nope and for any number of reasons let’s keep it that way.

  11. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

    Bobby Francis O’Dourkewad for gun salesman of the year,that is all it took.

    1. avatar Swarf says:

      That’s all it took to get me to give up trying to change the Dems from the inside after years of working on it.

      I will still have discussions with my lefty friends and family about the ways they are misguided or wrong about guns and what lies they have been told, but the Democrats as a party are fucking dead to me until they come out of the woods.

      Or until the Supreme Courts kicks them in the nads enough times that they shut up about it.

  12. avatar Southerner says:

    “Recently, the states of Alabama and Minnesota 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 October 19, 2018 for Minnesota.”

    Specifically, what law changes caused the changes above for Alabama and Minnesota?

    1. avatar SouthAl says:

      Don’t know about any law change. As I understand it (from the FFL I use-I have not further researched), ATF stopped AL FFLs from not running a background check for those with a CCL when it was discovered that a sheriff was issuing some CCLs without doing a background check. Madison County, I believe. What a dumbass sheriff.

      1. avatar Sam Hill says:

        Don’t think the sheriff is the dumbass look closer to home. He was obeying his oath to uphold the Constitution. Since background checks is a form of infringement. Don’t apologize we know stupid can’t be fixed.

        1. avatar SouthAl says:

          Oooooh, I’m enlightened now. The sheriffs were upholding their oath, but still issuing CCPs as required by the constitution and that unwavering oath they took to uphold it. I suspect they also waived the fees for all CCPs to avoid further infringements and oath-breaking.

  13. avatar PJO says:

    USA now has very nearly half a billion firearms in private possession…good luck putting THAT genie back in the bottle Dems.

  14. avatar Swarf says:

    Are we *sure* that the Democrats aren’t being paid by the NRA/industry?

    They sure do sell a lot of guns.

  15. avatar strych9 says:

    It seems that there is no particular panic here. When I pull the numbers from the FBI’s website the trend has been that gun sales are generally up year over year since 1998 and a total of 330,067,192 checks run in that time period.

    The curve is not completely smooth obviously but the general trend for 21 years is up across four different administrations and 10 or 11 Congressional seasons.

    There are jumps at times where the increase followed by a drop can be attributed to “panic buying” but the return to a lower level nearly never goes back to the level of 3 years previous, and so the trend is up consistently

    Looking at the numbers themselves and the graphs from various sources, NSSF included, the conclusion is fairly obvious though the reasons for it may not be: people are buying more and more guns and this is a trend that’s gone on at least since the middle of Clinton’s second term.

    1. avatar frank speak says:

      gun show attendance…[and, presumably purchasing]…noticeably spiked when Obama got elected…had to stand in line to get in…that was new…

  16. avatar DJ says:

    Has it occurred to Stalinist Democrats that legal citizens purchasing firearms are not buying firearms to surrender them.

    Law Enforcement should take notice. I would expect a percentage of the 120 million gun owners to resist with lethal force.

    Yes, I said Stalinist. Look to the VA guns bills introduced. Look to the Trump show trial.

    Show me the man and I’ll show you the crime, Lavrentiy Beria Stalin’s Chief of Secret Police.

    The 2nd Amendment will be the remedy for government TYRANNY.

  17. avatar former water walker says:

    Well the wife wants a revolver and I “need” a full-size handgun. And mebbe a new shotgun. And a boltaction rifle in 308. And whatever…despite the doom & gloom in ILLinois. I also got my 1st gun when Barry Soetoro was in power. I will not comply…

  18. avatar Leighton Cavendish says:

    If a Democrat is elected in 2020…there will be a MASSIVE spike in gun and magazine and ammo sales…guaranteed…
    I still have a few on my list…a couple that are not here in the USA yet…unfortunately….

  19. avatar Aaron says:

    Get ‘em before Warren or Booty-judge becomes POTUS…

    1. avatar UpInArms says:

      Warren nor Sanders will ever be POTUS. The oligarchs wouldn’t stand for it. Biden is toast, he just doesn’t know it yet. The rest of the single-digit dems are done as well.

      So, the real contest now is: Can Mayor Pete capture the center ground vs. Can Bloomer buy the nomination.

      Get lots of popcorn– it’s gonna be a long show.

  20. avatar Sam Hill says:

    Gloomburger can buy the whole damn election. I just wish he would buy calipornia and sell it to a good Muslim family. Maybe them and Allah could break it off and float it over by the sandbox where it belongs.

  21. avatar enuf says:

    I have not seen a single decent price on a gun I wanted to buy in the last year or so. Nothing but retail, retail, retail. Even the constant stream of Cabela’s/Bass Pro discount offers hitting my email and snail mail always have “Not valid on firearms” down there in the fine print.

  22. avatar Pa John says:

    Anybody care to explain IF and HOW the FBI differentiates between NICS background checks for firearms and NICS background checks for AMMO?

    We have all read that California now requires background checks for ammo purchases – are these background checks somehow different and separate from NICS background checks for firearms? And if so, how?

    Sooner or later most of the people reading this are going to end up being asked about this “ammo versus firearm” background check issue. Some lefty anti-gunner / Domestic Enemies of the U.S. Constitution are going to claim that using NICS background check totals to estimate gun sales is now all bogus, and that the only reason the more recent totals are so high is because of ammo sales in states like California.

  23. avatar Prndll says:

    I think it is so funny how many people have been so upset at trump as being anti-gun but then we see this.

    I don’t see it as him as much as them. The insanity and pure raw hatred of the left is pushing hard and a growing percentage of the population see it.

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