Licensed gun dealers in the first month of 2021 continued to observe skyrocketing firearms sales as suggested by a record jump in federal firearm background checks.
The unadjusted figures of 4,288,240 checks conducted through the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System in January 2021 is a tremendous 61.7 percent jump from the unadjusted FBI NICS figure of 2,652,263 logged in January 2020.
However, when the data is adjusted by the National Shooting Sports Foundation by removing figures for gun permit checks and rechecks by states which use NICS for that purpose, the number of checks stands at 2,052,130 which is an even higher 75.2 percent increase compared to the January 2020 NSSF-adjusted NICS figure of 1,171,478.
The figure is the highest for any January in the NICS program's 23-year history and is the latest installment in a surge in checks that began last March, coinciding with the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, heated election-year political rhetoric, and a wave of urban violence.
"January’s NICS figures clearly spell out that the demand of law-abiding Americans to purchase firearms isn’t abating. It is growing," said Mark Oliva, director of public affairs for the National Shooting Sports Foundation. "Three of the top 10 weeks and one top 10 single day for the highest number of FBI NICS background checks occurred in January. Taken into context that all but one of the top 10 weeks and four other top 10 single-day records occurred during 2020, when 21 million background checks were conducted, these are jaw-dropping figures to start the New Year."
New Gun Salesman of the Year
With a new administration in the White House, single-party control of the federal government, and draconic gun control proposals already being floated in Congress, some consumers are heading to the gun counter while they still can.
"It can’t be discounted that many of these background checks for the purchase of a firearm are attributed to threats by the Biden administration to enact the most radical and far-reaching gun control agenda ever proposed," said Oliva. "Americans are continuing to purchase firearms at a blistering pace."
Oliva pointed out that the Biden administration’s opening salvo against the firearms industry occurred last week with freezing the publication of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s “Fair Access” banking rule. More battles are expected in the coming months.
"President Biden promised to pursue the repeal of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, weaponize the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to revoke licenses for minor clerical errors and ban entire classes of firearms from lawful ownership and tax or seize modern sporting rifles, or AR-15 style rifles, and magazines in a scheme that would cost those owners an estimated $34 billion for the privilege to own what they already lawfully own," explained Oliva.
And the kicker?
"The Biden administration has yet to put forth a single proposal to tackle the crime, lawlessness, rioting, and looting that has plagued this nation for the year," he said.