NSSF: NICS Checks For Gun Sales Jump Nearly 17 Percent

NSSF: NICS Checks For Gun Sales Jump Nearly 17 Percent

As the Democratic primary rages on, there’s not a single candidate that doesn’t have some form of gun control as part of their platform. That’s especially true of frontrunner Joe Biden and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The two known gun grabbers are directing a significant portion of their campaign efforts toward gun control


It’s enough to worry a few folks. After all, the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives has already passed a slew of anti-gun initiatives. If the White House turns blue, what does that mean for our future gun-buying hopes?

Well, it seems a number of people have decided not to screw around and are buying their guns now.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation took a look at the raw NICS numbers from the FBI and made the required adjustments. After all, the NICS checks also include people getting permits and a number of other situations that have little to do with buying a gun.

What did they find?

The February 2020 NSSF-adjusted National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) figure of 1,294,123 is an increase of 16.7 percent compared to the February 2019 NSSF-adjusted NICS figure of 1,109,087. For comparison, the unadjusted February 2020 FBI NICS figure 2,776,380 reflects a 36.9 percent increase from the unadjusted FBI NICS figure of 2,028,667 in February 2019.

Anyone who has ever run a business can tell you that a nearly 17 percent increase in sales is a good month.


Of course, the NSSF is also quick to point out that this doesn’t necessarily mean that.

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.

In other words, it records gun sales, but not new gun sales and not all through traditional gun stores.

Further, the NSSF also notes that there are a number of states where a concealed carry permit can be presented and skip the background checks. In fact, half the states have such a permit. That means even more firearms may have been sold than these numbers suggest but were sold to people who didn’t need to undergo the checks.


So, in a way, it does seem that Biden and Bloomberg are great for gun sales. Even if a large percentage are transfers between private parties, a number of those are still likely to be new firearms sold by licensed dealers.

For eight years, President Barack Obama was “praised” as the gun salesman of the year. It seems Mini-Mike and Sleepy Joe are competing for the chance to claim the title for at least this year.

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