Gun sales continued strongly in February, as the FBI reported its raw National Instant Check System (NICS) number of 3,442,777 initiated checks for the month were well above the raw number posted for February 2020, which was 2,802,467.
According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s “NSSF-adjusted” figures, there were 1,387,076 initiated NICS checks actually related to firearms transactions last month. NSSF lists the “unadjusted” NICS check number for February at 3,394,895, which is 22.3 percent above the “unadjusted” NICS figure (posted by NSSF) for February 2020, which was 2,776,380.
“Though not a direct correlation to firearms sales,” NSSF noted in its news release, “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.”
According to NSSF, 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.”
Regardless which figure one uses, this translates to more gun sales this year than last year at this time. With Democrats launching their gun control effort earlier in the week, Americans are demonstrating their concerns by purchasing now, before any new gun control laws might take effect.
First came Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee’s H.R. 127, a bill described by the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms as “a dreadful piece of legislation” representing a “wish list” of gun control extremism. The bill mandates gun owner licensing and registration, psychological examinations of gun owners, mandatory insurance, mandatory minimum prison sentences for non-compliance, and bans on whole classes of firearms and original capacity magazines.
Then came H.R. 8, the bill introduced earlier this week requiring so-called “universal background checks.” But writing at The Federalist, firearms attorney Ryan Cleckner observes, “Federally mandated universal background checks won’t end gun violence nor stop the criminal misuse of firearms, but they will significantly increase the burden of millions of law-abiding Americans who wish only to exercise their Second Amendment right to self-defense.”
NSSF Public Affairs Director Mark Oliva reinforced that observation.
“February’s adjusted NICS data shows us that Americans continue to purchase firearms in record numbers,” Oliva said, “while at the same time, their elected representatives in Washington, D.C. and the Biden administration plot to steal away their right to purchase firearms. It’s not lost on the firearm industry that after a year of record-setting figures for gun sales, Democrats favoring gun control in both chambers of Congress are ignoring the will of their voters and introducing legislation to limit the rights of law-abiding citizens instead of concentrating efforts to reduce crime. It is staggering the tone-deaf response by politicians to attempt to curb gun owners’ rights and ignore criminals that break the law.”