U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- The National Instant Background Check System numbers broke a new record for June of 2019. It is the highest number of background checks for any June since the system was created. There were 2,312,309 background checks done in June of 2019. The next highest June was in 2016, with 2,197,169.
The number of background checks in the NICS system has been generally increasing for the life of the system. There are many reasons for this. The general population has been increasing. The number of guns being sold per capita has increased, especially when there have been political threats of gun bans and increased restrictions on gun buying and gun ownership. The number of reasons to conduct background checks through NICS has expanded to include gun permits and gun permit rechecks. The number of gun permits (mostly carry permits) has grown enormously.
Permits and permit rechecks now account for more than half of all NICS background checks. In June of 2019, the number of permit and permit rechecks totaled 1,367,012 of the 2,312,309 background checks.
The total number of background checks is not representative of commercial gun sales because the number of checks done for permits and rechecks has increased. The number of checks done for permits has become less representative of the number of permits because some states do multiple checks or rechecks on a single permit over the course of a year, greatly expanding the number of background checks, without increasing the number of permits.
Subtracting the permit and permit rechecks done in the month gives a figure more consistent with gun sales.
For June, the highest number, after subtracting permit and permit rechecks, occurred in the record-setting year of 2016. There were 1,210,063 checks remaining after permit and permit rechecks were subtracted. The second highest year was 2017, with 1,001,115 checks after permit and permit rechecks were subtracted.
The third highest year was this year, 2019. After subtracting permit and permit rechecks from the June , 2019 numbers, 945,257 are left. June, 2018, had the fourth highest number at 915,332 checks done after permit and permit rechecks are subtracted from the total.
The last four years, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 had the four highest background checks in June, after permits and permit rechecks were subtracted.
Other factors complicate the issue. People with carry permits in half of the states can use their carry permit as proof they passed a background check. In those states, another, separate background check does not need to be done for a person who has a carry permit from that state. Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming, are all states that accept a carry permit as a replacement for a NICS check.
One background check can serve for multiple firearm sales. The person is being vetted. It would make no sense to vet the same person several times in an hour for several firearms purchases.
Keeping these situations in mind, NICS checks are a viable indicator of firearm sales, once permit and permit rechecks are subtracted.
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.