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The NSSF’s Mark Oliva tells TTAG that . . .

Background checks for gun sales continue to be strong and steadily rising. Background checks in the fall months typically rise as hunting seasons open across the country, new firearm models are being introduced and gun buyers start to consider holiday sales.

The annual total so far of nearly 15.2 million background checks is putting 2021 on the path to being the second strongest year on record. It is currently behind only the record shattering 21 million background checks witnessed in 2020 and the 15.7 million background checks conducted during 2016.

This continued and sustained pace of background checks for firearm sales, that is climbing in the closing months of 2021, shows the resiliency of the firearm manufacturers to meet this sustained, high-level demand and the personal interest by the American public to participate in the exercise of their God-given Second Amendment rights.

Here’s the NSSF’s press release . . .

The October 2021 NSSF-adjusted National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) figure of 1,427,264 is a decrease of 19.3 percent compared to the October 2020 NSSF-adjusted NICS figure of 1,769,553. For comparison, the unadjusted October 2021 FBI NICS figure 2,577,913 reflects a 21.1 percent decrease from the unadjusted FBI NICS figure of 3,268,909 in October 2020.

The October 2021 figures were the second strongest for the month on record, surpassed only by October 2020, when 1,769,553 background checks for a firearm sale were conducted.

The total NSSF-adjusted NICS January – October 2021 reflects a decrease of 11.9% compared to the same time period in 2020.

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 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.

For additional information on NICS or to view a complete set of the current monthly reports, please visit the NICS website.

Questions concerning NSSF-adjusted NICS data should be directed to NSSF at 203-426-1320 or [email protected]. Additional research is available at NSSF members are able to access historical monthly NICS data by logging in and clicking on “Industry Research” then “NICS data.”


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  1. Well I wanted to buy a gat but didn’t have the dough at the time of the sale(I never use any type of card). When I did it was 80 bucks more…dang bills!

  2. That’s a lot of background checks.
    Got ah Desert Eagle
    That’s one big ole pistol,
    50 caliber
    made by
    badass hebrews

  3. My Oct purchases consisted of a few threaded barrels/comps from Jarvis (ordered back in July), and a pair of Explorer handgun cases.

    Have a few long barrel-comp’ed guns to break-in with my sons this month.

  4. And this in a month with still very limited available supply of new firearms (and ammo).

    I predict a HUGE Nov. – Christmas season, inventory on shelves again, roaring inflation looming/here says purchase now

  5. Picked up the Ruger LCP Max but that was a couple of months ago. $303 at Sportsmans Warehouse with a coupon. Also picked up a single stage 4.5lb POF USA trigger for one of my ARs.

  6. “This continued and sustained pace of background checks … [] … high-level demand and the personal interest by the American public to participate in the exercise of their God-given Second Amendment rights.”

    I disagree. The Federally mandated BGCs are being forced upon buyers in direct violation to the Constitution’s fundamental declaration of our natural right. A BGC assumes guilt on its face and requires a person to prove his/her innocence. Any denial – or even a delay, such as is currently happening in my case as I continue to wait three months after submitting my L.A. County CCW application – is a right denied.

    BGCs are blatantly unconstitutional. Any of our American ancestors 100 years ago would have been appalled at what we’ve allowed our Representatives to do to us.

    • “Any of our American ancestors 100 years ago would have been appalled at what we’ve allowed our Representatives to do to us”

      yep, quite true, no doubt.

      but then they would look at our demographics and our culture and say, “no wonder they’re doing this to you. look at what you are. god has abandoned you.”

      then they’d look at our monetary system and shrug their shoulders and say, “it doesn’t matter if you have firearms or not.”

  7. ten years ago everyone on the right was saying “we’re about to rebel! ammo up boys!”

    now look at where we are. and nothing’s happening.

    so what if gun sales are up. doesn’t matter.

    • It doesn’t matter…until it does.

      Patriots are polite and patient…until they can no longer afford to be.

    • Of course things are happening. Nearly every article on this site indicates it. Rittenhouse, Jan6, BLM, Antifa, etc. etc.

      There are plenty of reasons to arm yourself. Is that not blatantly obvious?

      It might not be necessary to go wall to wall ammo in your home but there are plenty of new shooters that need range time.

    • We The People won’t stand up and fight until there is nothing left to lose… which, given the current trajectory of the country, will be any time now. Be patient, it’s coming.

    • It’s a massive cultural win against marxism. Cultural shifts take time, and this one is moving in the right direction.

      • “It’s a massive cultural win against marxism”

        meanwhile the schools, the monetary system, the voting system, the legal system, the medical system, and the political system are all captured and coopted and used against us. more guns is not the massive cultural win you are looking for.

  8. And remember if the Brady Bill Covered second hand purchases the checks would have easily doubled. People who were crooks and psycho’s simply buy second hand guns and circumvent the Brady Bill. That is fact but the Far Right avoids the truth like they avoid getting the Covid shots which spreads the disease just as second hand guns spread the mass carnage of death and destruction, much of which could be stopped. No law is perfect but to do nothing is about as asinine as throwing the baby out with the bath water.

    Of course people that suffer from paranoia are not capable of logical thinking, read that the Far Right.

    • “People who were crooks and psycho’s simply buy second hand guns”

      crooks and psychos aren’t supposed to be eligible to purchase handguns at all, let alone two.

      “people that suffer from paranoia are not capable of logical thinking”

      might want to look into that yourself ….

    • Oh Dacian… you’re quite a fun guy. Your take on political life is a hoot. (An asinine hoot, but a hoot nonetheless!)
      Don’t ever change…

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