We write about the NICS report nearly every month, and have been doing so for quite some time. It’s an important story that needs to be told to reinforce Americans’ embrace of gun rights, but the story is even more interesting when every month brings a new record. Like last month, which reset the record for the month of February, with 3,442,777 total NICS checks.
We wrote an article just about a year ago highlighting how February 2020 was the third busiest month ever for the FBI’s NICS office with more than 2.8 million checks. Things have changed.
Last month saw a 23% increase over February 2020 – which, at the time, was the third busiest month. Now, February 2021 is the 7th busiest month of all time while February 2020 has been pushed all the way to 14th
Readers of these articles are likely aware that we’ve seen a string of monthly NICS records set, and now that streak has hit fourteen consecutive months. That’s 14 straight months in which the record for that month was set. We’re also on a two-year streak of setting the annual record for NICS checks and, right now, we’re outpacing 2020. Through the first two months of the year, we have seen 41% more total NICS checks this year than last year.
Of course, 2020 saw unprecedented demand. That demand has carried over into the start of 2021, and it may very well continue, at least as long as inventory allows.
Last month, the NICS office ran 761,744 background checks related to the sale of handguns and 466,005 related to the sale of long guns. Both categories are down from January 2021 which was, of course, the busiest month ever for NICS with more than 4.3 million total NICS checks.
We’re about 16% through 2021, and the NICS office has run 16% of the number of handgun related checks they ran in last year and 17% of long gun related checks. The NICS Office has already run 19% of the number of permit checks they ran last year, so we are running slightly ahead in permit checks.
Importantly, we didn’t set the record for permit checks last year. The record for permit checks was set in 2016, which saw more than 11.1 million Americans undergo a background check for a permit. We are not at that sort of pace in 2021 so far, but we are celebrating the enactment of permitless carry in Montana and Utah.
The real takeaway from the monthly NICS reports is the enthusiasm Americans have for gun rights. More than eight million Americans became first-time gun owners last year, and our community only continued to grow in January and February of this year.
Don’t think these hard numbers will sway President Joe Biden or his anti-gun allies. Biden has already been told by professional activists that he has to meet their demands, and Nancy Pelosi is bringing two gun control bills up for a vote in the House of Representatives next week.
Pelosi and company may not want to believe the NICS numbers, but your own representatives in Congress need to hear from you that these gun control bills won’t work. Make sure they do by contacting them here.