The month of July 2021 was the second-highest July in terms of federal background checks for gun transfers since the system was established over 20 years ago.

The unadjusted figures of 2,860,476 checks conducted through the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System last month, while a 20.9 percent drop from the unadjusted FBI NICS figure of 3,614,192 in July 2020, are still much higher than years prior to that black swan event which was driven by COVID fears, a tense election cycle, and a wave of urban unrest.

When the data for last month 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 1,291,298 which is a drop of 30.1 percent compared to the July 2020 NSSF-adjusted NICS figure of 1,848,307. As with the unadjusted figures, this too is the second-highest on record. 

Gun industry experts feel the data is a signal from the American public that there is a steady and strong appetite for continued firearm sales. 

"Summer is typically a part of the year when firearm sales will slow, but July’s figures defy that trend," said Mark Olvia, NSSF's public affairs director. "Americans are still buying guns and they’re buying them in numbers higher than previous years and at a pace that would have been unpredictable two or three years ago. To date, more than 11 million background checks have been completed for the sale of a gun."

Oliva pointed out that the past 16-month streak of elevated sales has pushed manufacturers to meet this unprecedented demand and notes that, if inventory would have been greater, background checks for gun sales could have been even higher. Still, with lots of gun restriction noise filling the air in Washington and elsewhere, he says the lines of those seeking firearms are not likely to dissipate any time soon. 

"Factors that continue to drive sales are undeniably concerns for personal safety, along with overtures from the Biden administration to pursue a strict gun control agenda," said Oliva. "Those measures include the proposed ban on brace-equipped AR pistols, the proposal to redefine frame or receiver and regulate out of existence the ability of law-abiding Americans to build their own firearms in the home for personal use and the nomination of David Chipman to be director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, a gun control lobbyist who advocates for banning the Modern Sporting Rifle."

Banner image: Sig Sauer MPX in the Vault.

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