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November 2020 saw, among other things, another new firearm background checks record.

This, after this record, this record, and this record.

The FBI NICS office conducted 3,626,335 total background checks last month. November is always a busy month with elections, Black Friday, and holiday deals to be had. Even the year-to-date streak of record numbers and reported inventory shortages around the country could not hamper the demand for background checks. Last month beat November 2019 by more than a million checks.

Checks were down on Black Friday compared to last year…but still high enough to be the fourth-busiest day in the history of NICS. There were 186,645 checks on Black Friday last month, and that would not include any firearms ordered online that day – which would have to be shipped to a federally licensed dealer who would then complete the background check. Black Friday may have been slower than last year, but the first two full weeks of November ranked, in order, as the fourth and eighth busiest weeks for the NICS office.

Readers may recall that every month in 2020 has set a new record and so won’t be surprised to know that the year-to-date number of background checks is already 26% higher than the previous annual record total. The NICS office has run 35,758,249 checks through the end of November this year. It ran 28,369,750 checks last year.

The FBI NICS office ran more than three million checks in a month a single time between November 1998 and December 2019.

They’ve run more than three million checks seven times this year. So far.

We almost hit 4 million checks in June.

Have you heard stories about inventory being low?

Thirty-five million checks so far this year is an accomplishment. We’re already over 35 million and we may be able to beat the 2019 total – which was the record up until this fall – by 10 million checks if December follows the 2020 trend.

If the FBI NICS office runs 2,611,502 checks in December, we’ll have done it.

The last time there were fewer than 2.6 million checks? November 2019.

Obviously, 2020 has been quite a year for Americans exercising their Constitutional rights. More than 5.47 million people had a background check related to a firearms permit, and another 10.77 million had a permit recheck run. Those are astounding numbers.

More astounding are the number of checks related to firearm sales. The FBI NICS office has run 10,931,060 handgun-related checks and 6,361,838 checks related to long gun sales. We’ve already beat the annual handgun check record by 35% (over the 8,085,498 handgun-related checks run in 2016) and are “only” 766,961 checks away from beating the long gun record set in 2013 (with 7,128,798 such checks).

Almost 11 million handgun and more than 6.3 million long gun checks.

Of course, these totals do not include the 362,076 multiple type checks or the 783,480 “other checks” run in 2020.

We won’t have the final tally of 2020 checks until early January…possibly the day after new Members of Congress take their oath of office. 

We expect that these legislators will see the importance of the 2nd Amendment as demonstrated by the sheer number of Americans exercising their right. 

But, if they do not, your NRA will be ready.



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