Federal background checks on pace for biggest year ever

Dennis Pratte, owner of a gun store in Falls Church, Va., told The New York Times he sells weapons only to buyers who clear a background check (Photo: Mary F. Calvert/The New York Times)

Dennis Pratte, owner of a gun store in Falls Church, Virginia, tells the New York Times he sells only to those who can pass a background check (Photo: Mary F. Calvert/The New York Times)

Background checks processed through the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check system hit all-time highs again in October.

NICS processed 2.3 million checks last month, putting the system just 935,737 behind last year’s record of 23.1 million.

Last month’s checks increased 18 percent over October 2015 and spiked 17 percent compared to September totals.

The adjusted NICS totals also show notable growth in background checks, up 13 percent over last year and 18 percent from September.

The adjusted total is calculated by removing permit checks and rechecks from the total number of background checks performed for the month. Industry analysts and trade associations, including the National Shooting Sports Foundation, use the adjusted total as a measurement of gun sales across the country.

A combined 962,403 permit checks and rechecks were conducted last month, shrinking the adjusted total to just under 1.4 million.

Still, it’s the biggest October on record since the federal background check system rolled out in 1998. As the firearms industry heads into its busiest selling season, NICS could secure its biggest year ever by the end of November.

Latest Reviews

  • Four Years Later: IWI Tavor SAR Revisited

    Though IWI's X95, released in 2016, usurps the SAR, my Tavor SAR is still part of the family. For those just now coming across this model, how has it stood up over the years? Let's find out.

    Read More
  • Scope Review: Leupold VX-Freedom FireDot Twilight Hunter

    The budget-friendly line of American-made Leupold VX-Freedom riflescopes found a welcome audience last year, but 2020 sees even more interesting additions to the family, with our hands-down favorite being the illuminated-reticle FireDot line.

    Read More
  • Ruger AR-556: An Outstanding Gateway AR

    It should come as no surprise the Ruger name is synonymous with value, and its’ AR-556 looks to fit this mold as an entry-level AR-15 with a reasonable MSRP. So how does the no-frills Ruger AR-556 perform when put to the test? Read on to find out.

    Read More
  • A Look at the Sig P238, A Year Later

    The Sig Sauer P238 was the first .380 ACP BUG to grace my gun safe, a welcomed addition to the 9mm polymers, .38 SPL revolvers, and .45 ACP 1911s. After more than a year's worth of use, where do I stand on the P238? Let's find out.

    Read More

Loading