NSSF-Adjusted NICS Background Checks for September 2023

Industry News News Wire This Week
A graph showing year over year NICS numbers for the month of Sept.
A look at September’s numbers. (Photo: NSSF)

The September 2023 NSSF-adjusted National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) figure of 1,141,847 is a decrease of 8.2 percent compared to the September 2022 NSSF-adjusted NICS figure of 1,243,687. 

For comparison, the unadjusted September 2023 FBI NICS figure 2,035,410 reflects a -16.5% percent decrease from the unadjusted FBI NICS figure of 2,437,563 in September 2022.

September 2023 marks the 50th month in a row that has exceeded 1 million adjusted background checks in a single month.

SEE ALSO: NSSF-Adjusted Background Checks Down 17 Percent in July 2023

Please note: Twenty-four 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.

Comment from Mark Oliva, NSSF’s Managing Director of Public Affairs, on NSSF-Adjusted NICS Numbers

The despicable and violent attack on Congressman Henry Cuellar serves as a reminder why Americans continue to choose to exercise their Second Amendment rights. Crime rates are unabated and criminals prey on innocent Americans without consequence. Americans are choosing a different path. By the millions for 50 months straight, law-abiding citizens are choosing to their right to keep and bear arms, despite the efforts of gun control politicians to enact laws to chill that right and others that issue unconstitutional edicts that deny that right. Lawful firearm possession is truly the determining factor of the American character – that we are a people of self-determination and not left to be victims of those who have no respect for life or law.

About NSSF—The Firearm Industry Trade Association

The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of thousands of manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers nationwide. For more information, visit www.nssf.org.

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  • paul I'll call you what I want/1st Amendment October 4, 2023, 4:14 am

    are hunter’s purchases included in the numbers?

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