Even though it only had 28 days on the calendar, February 2023 still logged well over 1.3 million likely retail gun sales. 

According to data based on federal background checks for likely over-the-counter gun sales, last month was the 43rd in a row where such checks soared past the 1-million mark, showing the figure is likely the new benchmark. 

The streak was confirmed by the National Shooting Sports Foundation after it sifted through the figures for the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System for last month. The unadjusted February 2023 FBI NICS figure of 2,502,385, after the data is sifted by NSSF to remove checks and rechecks for carry permits, remains at 1,343,593. By comparison, last month's data almost perfectly matches the February 2022 NSSF-adjusted NICS figure of 1,352,105. 

All told, last month’s figures represent a more than three-year period starting in July 2019 where checks broke the million-per-month benchmark. 

"Over 1.3 million background checks were conducted for the sale of a firearm in February, holding steady with the figure from one year ago," Mark Oliva, NSSF's director of public affairs, told Guns.com. "This is demonstrative of a steady appetite for Americans from all walks of life to exercise their Second Amendment right to lawful firearm ownership. Certain politicians choose twisted narratives to demonize firearm ownership instead of confronting the criminal elements in our communities. Figures like these, month after month, show us that Americans reject that rhetoric and are choosing to protect themselves and participate in the rich heritage of the shooting sports."

Banner image: S&W semi-auto pistols on display at SHOT Show 2023. (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)

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