BOOM: Another 1.2 Million Guns Sold in January

We’ve established a new floor in demand for firearms in this country. According to the NSSF’s adjusted NICS numbers for January, Americans bought just under 1.2 million more guns last month. The new minimum monthly number of guns sold in this country seems to be somewhere between 1 and 1.2 million per month.

There are a lot of reasons behind that. Chief among them are, no doubt, increased crime (though that seems to have fallen last year, depending on who’s doing the reporting) and the expansion of permitless carry.

With 27 states on board — and South Carolina grudgingly moving in that direction — that’s tens of millions of law-abiding people who don’t need a permission slip to tote a gun. That goes a long way to explaining why personal defense handguns now make up the biggest category of guns sold.

As the NSSF’s Mark Oliva told us . . .

January’s nearly 1.2 background checks for the sale of a firearm at retail shows that America’s desire to exercise Second Amendment rights continues into 2024. For four-and-a-half years, more than 1 million background checks have been completed each and every month.

This is happening this year against a backdrop of the Biden administration weaponizing nearly every lever of government to suppress Second Amendment rights by law-abiding citizens. These figures show that Americans rejects these infringements and instead choose their rights.

Here’s the NSSF’s press release announcing the January numbers . . .

The January 2024 NSSF-adjusted National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) figure of 1,197,294 is a decrease of 5.6 percent compared to the January 2023 NSSF-adjusted NICS figure of 1,268,236For comparison, the unadjusted January 2024 FBI NICS figure 2,180,262 reflects a 16.6 percent decrease from the unadjusted FBI NICS figure of 2,612,736 in January 2023. January 2024 marks the 54th month in a row that has exceeded 1 million adjusted background checks in a single month.

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.

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