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November Background Check Total Makes 2021 The Second Highest Gun Sales Year on Record


November 2021 FBI NICS adjusted background check gun sales
Courtesy NSSF

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November’s adjusted NICS background check total of 1.543 million, which includes the heavy Black Friday week sales, has already made 2021 the second biggest year for gun sales on record.

The NSSF’s Mark Oliva had this to say . . .

The report of November’s figures puts 2021 as the second strongest year for firearm sales on record, behind only 2021’s outlier year of 21 million background checks for a gun sale. November 2021’s NSSF-Adjusted NICS total of 1,543,378 brings the year-to-date total to 16,722,291 background checks for the sale of a firearm. That remarkable figure was reinforced by the FBI’s report of more than 678,000 unadjusted background checks performed during the week leading up to and including Black Friday.

This milestone figure of more than 16.7 million background checks for a gun sale shows there is still a strong appetite for lawful firearm ownership and America values the God-given right to keep and bear arms. Month after month, and now year after year, Americans are voting with their wallets when it comes gun rights in record numbers.

November 2021 FBI NICS adjusted background check gun sales
Courtesy NSSF

Here’s the NSSF’s press release . . .

The November 2021 NSSF-adjusted National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) figure of 1,543,378 is a decrease of 20.8 percent compared to the November 2020 NSSF-adjusted NICS figure of 1,949,141. For comparison, the unadjusted November 2021 FBI NICS figure 2,692,188 reflects a 25.3 percent decrease from the unadjusted FBI NICS figure of 3,602,296 in November 2020.

The NSSF-adjusted NICS January – November 2021 totals 16,772,391 making 2021 the second strongest year-to-date on record, behind 2021.

Please note: Twenty-five states currently have at least one qualified alternative permit, which under the Brady Act allows the permit-holder, who has undergone a background check to obtain the permit, to purchase a firearm from a licensed dealer without a separate additional background check for that transfer. The number of NICS checks in these states does not include these legal transfers based on qualifying permits and NSSF does not adjust for these transfers.

The adjusted NICS data were derived by subtracting out NICS purpose code permit checks and permit rechecks used by states for CCW permit application checks as well as checks on active CCW permit databases. NSSF started subtracting permit rechecks in February 2016.

Though not a direct correlation to firearms sales, the NSSF-adjusted NICS data provide an additional picture of current market conditions. In addition to other purposes, NICS is used to check transactions for sales or transfers of new or used firearms. 

It should be noted that these statistics represent the number of firearm background checks initiated through the NICS. They do not represent the number of firearms sold or sales dollars. Based on varying state laws, local market conditions and purchase scenarios, a one-to-one correlation cannot be made between a firearm background check and a firearm sale. 

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