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Another Month, Another NICS Record – November Background Checks Jump 41%

November, 2020 FBI NICS background checks guns

Courtesy FBI

Yawn. It’s no longer considered news that Americans continue to buy guns at a never-seen-before pace. We’ve been beating down the doors of gun stores since March due to the pandemic and then civil unrest (not to mention prisoner releases and the defund-the-police movement). Throw in the usual Presidential election season bump in sales and now the potential for a Biden presidency and you have all the makings for a perfect storm of firearms demand.

November, of course, was no different. It’s always been an up sales month anyway given Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the traditional beginning of the Christmas buying season. November 2020, though, with the aftermath of the election still playing out, saw the numbers reach new heights.

Year to date through October, 2020 background check volume was already up about 14% over 2019. The year-to-date 2020 NICS volume surpassed all of 2019 back in September.

Now, the more than 3.6 million FBI background checks in November represents a 10% increase over October and a whopping 41% jump over the year-ago total. And November’s total is still only the fourth largest this year.

Again, the requisite caveat: FBI background checks do not equal gun sales. The NSSF will be out soon with their adjusted numbers which are a better measure of actual gun sales. Still, the overall trajectory of background checks in the monthly FBI NICS volume reports are a good indicator of the overall trend in gun sales and the demand for them by Americans. A trend which is continually, unrelentingly upward.


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