NICS and Gun Sales in January 2021 sets New Record

Millions of law-abiding citizens submit to background checks, as intimated by the president's comment to reporters. (Dave Workman)
NICS and Gun Sales in January 2021 sets New Record (Dave Workman)

U.S.A.-( The National Instant background Check System (NICS) set a record for the most checks done in any month, ever, since the system started in 1998. There were a total NICS 4,317,804 checks done in January. The next highest month was in December of 2020, with 3,937,066 checks.

NICS and Gun Sales in January 2021 sets New Record
NICS and Gun Sales in January 2021 sets New Record

As readers of this correspondent know, an increasing number of NICS checks are done for things other than gun sales, primarily for gun carry permits and permit rechecks. The formula used to approximate the number of actual gun sales uses numbers supplied by the FBI.

Checks for handguns + Checks for long guns + Checks for other guns + (Checks for multiple sales of guns x 2.5) = number of guns sold.

Using that formula the, number of guns sold was about 2.018 million in January of 2021. The number sold in December of 2020, last month, was about 1.90 million. The highest number of guns sold in any month, as recorded by NICS, was in December of 2015, when about 2.22 million were sold.

Most January sales have dropped off after the Christmas/end of year rush. This year sales increased. Here are some previous January gun sales levels, as estimated by NICS numbers:

  • January 2017 –  1,049,441
  • January 2018 –    989,275
  • January 2019 –   1,002,952
  • January 2020 –   1,132,183
  • January 2021 has roughly twice the average number of sales for January in the last four years.

Most popular models of firearms, and many not so popular models, are difficult to find in retail stores, or online.

Obtaining ammunition requires diligent searching, and the willingness/ability to pay much higher than normal prices for nearly all calibers.

This is the first time, ever, this correspondent has seen a shortage of 12 gauge bird shot loads. The last known shortage of those loads in the United States was during World War II.

The reasons for the enormous increase in demand for firearms and ammunition, which inevitably lead to shortages of supply, are clear to this correspondent.

First is the heavily contested election of former Vice President Joe Biden as President.  President Biden has promised more infringements on Second Amendment rights than any previous president.  When people believe they may no longer be able to obtain what they want, in the future, they purchase it now, while they can.

Add 9 or 10 million new gun owners (about 8.4 million in 2020, and another .8 million in January of 2021) who now need ammunition, and are uncertain of a future supply, due to possible regulatory crackdowns.  Ammunition is said to be back ordered for two years in the future.

It has been reported between 1/3 and 1/2 of American citizens believe there is a 50/50 chance of civil war in the next decade. It is a frightening possibility.  The United States, of all the countries in the world, is one of the very few who have not experienced significant war on their territory in the last 150 years.

People who believe a civil war is imminently possible would reasonably be expected to take actions to prepare for the possibility.

Actions such as: purchase storable food, rural property, get their passports in order, save money, talk to their neighbors about assisting each other, and, yes, purchase guns and ammunition (or be glad to have done so already).

As disenchantment with the Biden administration is likely to escalate, the demand for guns and ammunition is unlikely to be satiated.

Expect two years, minimum, of high ammunition prices and difficulty in obtaining the exact ammunition you want.

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 retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

Dean Weingarten

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Joe Biden is the top gun salesman for the democrat party. His gun sales have surpassed Barrack’s sales . The clown needs an award for his ability to make guns and ammo fly off the shelves . I nominate Joe Biden as a top gun salesman for 2020 and 2021 . Thanks Joe keep up the good work , you are a complete idiot !


All those Executive Orders Sleepy Sleazy Senile Ole Joe is signing………Kamaltoe told him it was his coloring book time.


I can’t believe that these are all republicans buying the guns. In addition i cant believe that a democrat that bought a gun would give it up because their government has made illegal what was once legal. I know that ain’t happening. There are democrats out there that want guns too, they need to learn to vote republican though and make sure the ones they vote for are not RINO.


When Govt want to rull as dictators but are actually Psychopaths in a mental facility. US Capitol


Yep, ALL the DEMO-RATS in DC, how about Traitors and Terrorists and all those that don’t uphold the Constitution, with a sign of NO BAG LIMIT!!!!!!!! We put them in office to represent WE THE PEOPLE, not how much they can make for themselves!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Also the SUPREME COURT has to get off their Butts and hear the SECOND AMENDMENT CASES BEINGBROUGHT BEFORE THEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ol' Sapper

This formula is wrong: it should be “divided by 2.5” not x 2.5.

Checks for handguns + Checks for long guns + Checks for other guns + Checks for multiple sales of guns x 2.5 = number of guns sold.

Dave in Fairfax


I see what you’re saying, but I think that you’re wrong. I think the equation should have (Checks for multiple sales of guns x 2.5) rather than without the parentheses. That would account for the multiple gun guns without affecting the other types of sales. Dividing the number of multiple gun sales by 2.5 would give you a bit under 1/2 the number of guns sold compared to the number of sales. If they’re multiple gun sales the number of guns has to be higher than the number of sales. Good catch though.


Did my part….3. Found some 28ga Federal at WallyWorld. Guess no one had a 28ga. Then had to buy a 28ga to shoot it. Found a NIB Browning BPS Ducks Unlimited 28ga in a lgs. SWEET!!!! Come on, we can do better. Still saw a gun or two in a couple of shops. Keep buyin’ til they’re all gone. And, I saw a box of 16ga on a WallyWorld shelf. We should be ashamed of our selves.