Unrest and riots in 2020 led to an unprecedented spike in firearm sales, in particular to first-time as well as women and minority gun owners, and I think we’re all surprised and heartened to see historically strong sales continuing (three Julys in a row of well over 1 million checks each). Recession or not, inflation or not, gun sales continue at an impressive clip (or is it magazine?).
The NSSF adjusts the gross NICS numbers by removing NICS background checks done for the purposes of concealed carry permit applications and renewals and other things unrelated to the purchasing of a firearm. It isn’t a perfect system, as some firearm-related NICS checks don’t actually result in the sale of a firearm and some result in the sale of multiple firearms. Additionally, a full 25 states, like TTAG’s home state of Texas, do not require a NICS check if the purchaser has a valid concealed carry permit so there are lots of firearms sold without NICS checks being run.
However, looking at the numbers historically provides a good representation of the comparative number of firearms being sold, even if NICS check numbers don’t correlate directly to firearms sold numbers.
From the NSSF:
The July 2022 NSSF-adjusted National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) figure of 1,233,115 is a decrease of 4.5 percent compared to the July 2021 NSSF-adjusted NICS figure of 1,279,300. For comparison, the unadjusted July 2022 FBI NICS figure 2,358,150 reflects a 17.6 percent decrease from the unadjusted FBI NICS figure of 2,860,476 in July 2021.
The adjusted July 2022 figures are over a million and are the third strongest for the month on record, surpassed by July 2020 and July 2021.