NSSF: Adjusted NICS Background Checks for August 2020 – Highest August on Record!

The August 2020 NSSF-adjusted National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) figure of 1,684,083 is an increase of 51.2 percent compared to the August 2019 NSSF-adjusted NICS figure of 1,113,535. For comparison, the unadjusted August 2020 FBI NICS figure 3,085,227 reflects a 31.8 percent increase from the unadjusted FBI NICS figure of 2,341,363 in August 2019.

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. Michigan had law changes that affected their Brady Law standing which removed qualifying alternate permits usage for firearm transactions. These changes went into effect March 3, 2020. NSSF-adjusted NICS for the state of Michigan in August 2020 were 219.5 percent higher than August 2019 which accounts for an additional 43.,237 checks over the same time period.

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. 

Comment from Mark Oliva, NSSF Director of Public Affairs:

August’s adjusted NICS figures of nearly 1.7 million background checks associated with the sale of a firearm are in line with the months-long trend we’ve witnessed since March, when figures topped an all-time one-month record of 2.3 million. Each month since April, adjusted NICS figures averaged between 1.6 and 1.8 million. August’s figures are a record-high for the month over all previous years and show us that concerns for personal safety and self-defense continue to remain a priority for law-abiding Americans.

The sustained pace of firearm sales proves that law-abiding Americans are turning out by the millions to exercise their God-given right to keep and bear arms. News reports of violent attacks, riots, looting are coupled with calls to defund police continue. NSSF estimates that nearly 5 million of these firearm purchases were made by people who never previously owned a firearm. Americans are witnessing gun control politicians refuse to enforce penalties on violent criminals while at the same time actively working to deny those who obey the law the ability protect themselves. These sales figures are proof that Americans refuse to be compliant victims to violent criminals who prey on the most vulnerable of our society.

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{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Charles Jennings September 8, 2020, 6:31 am

    Do a little digging, you’ll find detailed the companies funding BLM, BOYCOTT EVERY SINGLE ONE !

  • Thomas September 6, 2020, 7:32 pm

    The good black Christians don’t put up with BLM . They know socialism is a pathway to slavery ,just look at the Chinese prison factory’s

  • CountryBoy September 4, 2020, 3:18 pm

    And those numbers don’t even cover those with Concealed Carry Permits…

  • Mark September 4, 2020, 8:50 am

    And the Democrat party, seeing these numbers, STILL thinks “Defund the Police” is a winning strategy for an election less than two months away?

  • dprato September 2, 2020, 6:08 pm

    Many of these BLM supporters expect us to be afraid of them with their threats but they need to realize a couple of things. One, when they move out of the cities to the suburbs or rural areas they get tossed quickly.
    Two, the black population in this Country is only around 12-13% and even with their coward punk supporters don’t have the numbers to withstand the law abiding citizens in this Country who carry firearms and know how to use them. Three, if they want to bring it on with mainstream America then Bring It On because they are going to get a major surprise if they think they can get away with what they are doing in Blue States and Cities out her the real America. Tread lightly folks.

    • Bryan September 4, 2020, 8:51 am

      Here in the rural landscape of TN, VA, WV, etc…rioting and looting will be seriously frowned upon to say the least. If you expect to bring large numbers to inflict your will…you will return home with only a handful…if that..

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