July 2021 proved to have the second-most National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) checks of any July in history.
FBI figures show that 2,882,676 NICS checks were conducted in July 2021, second only to the 3,639,224 conducted in July 2020.
Breitbart News noted that June 2021 witnessed the second highest number of NICS checks of any June in history as well. There were 3,054,726 checks performed in June 2021, second only to the 3,931,607 performed in June 2020.
January 2020 through May 2021 witnessed 17th consecutive months of record NICS checks. This means January 2020 saw more NICS checks than any January in history, February 2020 more than any February, March 2020 more than any March, and so on, all the way through May 2021.
It is important to remember that NICS checks are not a precise measurement for the number of gun sales taking place in a given month, as the checks are conducted on the would-be purchaser, rather than the gun itself. And an individual can buy more than one gun at retail once he or she has passed the background check. (That latter point means the number of NICS checks could be lower than the number of guns sold.)
Also, some states also regularly perform background checks on concealed carry permit holders as a way of maintaining oversight on possible criminal behavior. This means some of the checks are not sales-related at all.
But keep in mind that peer-to-peer transfers that are not subject to NICS are not tracked in many states because it isn’t a business to individual transfer. There is a segment of the market that does not get counted that makes up for not every NICS run being a sale. NICS can also be run for a multiple sale and more than one firearm being purchased at once.
Even as the market starts cooling (both summertime and pandemic fatigue) it is still only surpassed by last July, which was the height of both pandemic and riot buying.