Surge in Firearm Background Checks Continues in November 2023, Records Third-Highest Month

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Increased Demand for Firearm Ownership: NSSF-Adjusted NICS Data Reveals

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) reported that the number of firearm background checks in November 2023 surged to 1,595,476.

This figure represents a 5.0 percent increase from November 2022’s adjusted total of 1,519,524 checks.

This growth continues a consistent upward trend in firearm background checks, as observed over recent years.

Comparative Analysis with FBI NICS Figures

Contrasting the NSSF-adjusted figures, the unadjusted November 2023 FBI NICS figure stood at 2,594,906, marking a 5.6 percent decrease from the previous year’s figure of 2,747,862 in November 2022.

This discrepancy highlights the differences in data adjustment methods used by NSSF and the FBI.

November 2023 emerges as the third-highest November on record for background checks.

This month also marks a significant milestone, being the 52nd consecutive month where over 1 million adjusted background checks have been recorded in a single month.

Understanding NSSF-Adjusted NICS Data

The NSSF adjustment of NICS data is crucial for accurate representation. It involves subtracting permit checks and rechecks used by states for Concealed Carry Weapons (CCW) permit applications and active CCW permit databases.

Notably, since February 2016, NSSF has also been subtracting permit rechecks from its data.

It’s important to note that the NICS checks in twenty-four states do not include legal firearm transfers based on qualifying permits.

Under the Brady Act, permit holders who have already undergone a background check can purchase firearms without an additional check.

NICS and Firearm Sales: A Correlation

While the NSSF-adjusted NICS data do not directly correlate to firearm sales, they provide a valuable insight into market conditions.

These statistics represent the number of background checks initiated, not the actual sales of firearms.

Due to diverse state laws, local market conditions, and varied purchase scenarios, a direct one-to-one correlation between a background check and a firearm sale cannot be established.

Industry Perspective: Insights from Mark Oliva

Mark Oliva, the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s managing director of public affairs, commented on the data.

November’s figures of nearly 1.6 million background checks for the sale of a firearm at retail is a very strong indicator of a vibrant demand for lawful firearm ownership. The firearm industry typically sees a slight upswing in the number of background checks in the later months of the year, which coincide with hunting seasons and the holiday shopping sales. However, there are many communities with sustained levels of crime that have not abated. Those concerns, along with the punishing antigun measures by the Biden administration and threats of more gun control promised by the Biden-Harris reelection campaign, cannot be discounted as contributing factors. Americans have demonstrated month-after-month, and year-after-year, Second Amendment rights matter and they are investing their hard-earned dollars to exercise their right to lawfully possess firearms before the right can be further infringed.

In summary, the November 2023 NSSF-adjusted NICS data reveal a continuing trend of increased interest and demand for firearm ownership in the United States, amidst various socio-political factors.

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  • Patrick December 12, 2023, 4:32 pm

    Background checks are unconstitutional. We used to be able to buy firearms through the mail using a Sears Roebuck Catalogue. We didn’t have to go through an FFL or a background check. We need to abolish all gun laws, included gun free zone legislation.

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