NICS Gun Check Figures: Highest July in History

Last month saw the highest number of FBI NICS checks processed in the agency’s history for the month of July (Photo:

The month of July 2020 was the highest July in terms of federal background checks for gun transfers since the system was established over 20 years ago.

The unadjusted figures of 3,614,192 checks conducted through the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System last month is an 80.3 percent jump from the unadjusted FBI NICS figure of 2,004,277 in July 2019.

However, when the data was filtered by the National Shooting Sports Foundation to remove figures for gun permit checks by states which use NICS for that purpose, the number of checks stands at 1,848,307 which is an increase of 122.5 percent compared to the July 2019 NSSF-adjusted NICS figure of 830,579.

When stacked against previous Julys going back to 1999, last month set a new record, more than doubling last year's figures. (Graph: NSSF)

“These are historic figures for firearm sales that have outpaced last year’s figures each month and have set monthly records since March," Mark Oliva, NSSF’s director of public affairs told "July’s background checks for the sale of a firearm were more than one million higher than the same period last year." 

Oliva pointed to the continued cornucopia of COVID-19 restrictions, civil unrest, and calls to defund law enforcement as factors that have driven demand. 

"This period of sustained firearm purchases clearly shows that Americans continue to take responsibility for their personal safety, especially during times of uncertainty," said Oliva. "Additionally, talk by political figures in a presidential election cycle of instituting strict gun control, banning entire classes of firearms, and severely restricting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans are being seen."

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