The nation's firearm background check system saw last month its second heaviest usage on record for the month of June, going back to 1998, while gun sales continued to ride a historic high. 

The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System saw 3,042,379 checks initiated in June 2021, the second-highest June on record. When compared to June 2020's NICS figure of 3,909,502, it reflects a 22.2 percent decrease from that COVID- and unrest-fueled high-water mark for the system, but still soars above every other year's data.  

Going deeper, when the numbers are analyzed and adjusted by the National Shooting Sports Foundation by removing figures for gun permit checks and rechecks by states that use NICS for that purpose, the tally of checks stands at 1,279,300, which is a steeper decrease of 41.3 percent compared to the June 2020 NSSF-adjusted NICS figure of 2,177,586. Nonetheless, it still stands as the second-highest June on record when it comes to adjusted check data, reflecting the traditional summer slow-down for gun sales seen year over year. 

Firearms industry trade organizations point to the strong figures as showing there is sustained interest in lawful possession of firearms. These experts feel that the continued elevated level of increased firearm purchases is driven, in part, by the anti-gun offensive conducted by the Biden-Harris administration in the past five months. 

"As we head into Independence Day, Americans are exercising their right to keep and bear arms in record numbers even as the Biden administration is throwing up roadblocks to keep that from happening," Mark Oliva, public affairs director of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, told Guns.com. 

These factors, as explained by Oliva, include the polarizing nomination of David Chipman, a gun control lobbyist, to run the ATF, proposed new rules to reclassify firearm receivers as well as pistols equipped with stabilizing arm braces under the National Firearms Act, and repeated calls to repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act – a law that safeguards the firearms industry from frivolous lawsuits aimed to drive it out of existence.  

"The Biden administration is determined to use every lever within reach to stifle and disrupt the free exercise of Second Amendment rights which begin with the ability of citizens who obey the law to freely approach the gun counter," said Oliva. "Americans aren’t buying it. Instead, they continue to buy guns.

Banner image: Springfield Armory V10 Ultra Compact in the Guns.com Vault.

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