February 2021 NICS Second Highest Gun Sales on Record

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February 2021 NICS Second Highest Gun Sales on Record

U.S.A.-(AmmoLand.com)- The number of National Instant background Check System (NICS) checks done in February of 2021 was another record for the month. The number of NICS done for firearms sales was the second-highest February ever. This shows the expansion of the NICS for uses other than firearms purchases is continuing.

To find a close approximation of the number of NICS used for firearm sales in February, we add the number of handgun checks to long gun checks, to 2.5 x multiple checks, plus the other firearms checks.

In February of 2021, there were about 1.35 million NICS checks done for firearm sales. It was the second-highest February for firearms sales in the history of NICS. The highest February was in 2016 when the number was 1.41 million checks done for firearms sales.

Courtesy Dean Weingarten and David Scott

The total number of NICS checks done in February of 2021 was 3.44 million. Nearly 61% were done for things other than firearms sales. The most prominent of those things were 1.48 million checks done for firearm carry permit rechecks, as well as .53 million checks done for firearm carry permits.

The total number of private firearms in the United States is now about 468 million. The number is calculated using the methods pioneered by Newton and Zimring, and extended by Gary Kleck in “Point Blank: Guns and Violence in America”. The numbers from 2020 and 2021 so far, are an approximation based on the NICS numbers.

Actual manufacturing and import numbers will be released by the ATF for 2020 in about a year.

The number is the cumulative addition of domestic manufacture plus imports minus exports. It does not count guns shipped to the U.S. military.

Because of the inherent imprecision involved, the figures are rounded to the nearest million.

The reasons for the high level of firearms sales are clear. The political division in the United States is high.

Conservative voters fear the government and distrust the media.

Progressive and Democrat voters trust the government and fear Conservatives. Progressive politicians preach distrust of the police and the military, which have been Conservative strongholds for decades.

When distrust of major institutions rises, people consider what they can do to rely on their own resources.

Firearms represent personal power. Niccoló Machiavelli often considered a founding father of modern state politics, wrote of the difference in attitude between armed and unarmed people. From From “The Prince“:

There is no comparison whatever between an armed and disarmed man; it is not reasonable to suppose that one who is armed will obey willingly one who is unarmed; or that any unarmed man will remain safe…. – Niccoló Machiavelli, The Prince. 1537.

Mao Zedong wrote:

Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.

Political power is the primary reason for the Second Amendment. If the people are to be sovereign, they must be armed.

The United States population is the best armed in the world, although the Swiss, for a long time, were strong contenders. Of the estimated small arms existing in the world (about 1.11 billion), residents of the United States own 42%.

It seems unlikely the current trend to center all power in the bureaucracy in Washington, D.C. can continue without dealing with an armed American population.

The American system was designed to prevent such an accumulation of power in the District of Columbia. The Constitution has been subverted and its checks and balances undercut through propaganda, legislative and judicial acts of “Progressivism” for most of a hundred years.

The incongruities between the nominal structure of the Constitution and the realities of the administrative state are causing great stress.

One response is for people to buy guns and ammunition. Another is for the ruling elite to crackdown on dissent, and to double down on propaganda.

Most of the ruling class power in the United States rests in the control of the flow of information to the people.

Propaganda loses its value as more and more people refuse to believe it.

Mere numbers of armed people are insufficient to check organized power. There must be organization as well.

One of the checks designed to prevent the accumulation of power in D.C. is the power of States to resist. More states are resisting. Their political structure allows for the organizing of their populations’ armed power.

With luck, enough faith will be restored in the fairness of elections, to prevent all-out violent confrontations.

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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Dean wrote: “Conservative voters fear the government and distrust the media. Progressive and Democrat voters trust the government and fear Conservatives. Progressive politicians preach distrust of the police and the military, which have been Conservative strongholds for decades.” That is an outdated American view. Government includes police and the military. Almost all totalitarian governments in modern history relied on armed government employees. I agree with Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn: “Don’t believe them, don’t fear them, don’t ask anything of them.” “Them” includes: politicians, police, and the military. I don’t believe “them” because “they” have lied so many times in the past. I believe… Read more »


Look to the differences between federal assets and local assets. Local assets reflect more closely the community standards of the locality. This is why we can have constitutional sheriffs for instance. Federal law enforcement is corrupt at the highest levels because our community standards are corrupt at the highest levels. Evidence: War on Crime; War on Drugs; War on Terror (everything); Russian Collusion……………………need I go on? So if you live in a progressive utopia expect things to be driven not by reason but by emotion and ideology. The bottom line of the February numbers and the numbers over the past… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by nrringlee

That’s a wildly optimistic view and not supported by history. Rural sheriff’s deputies (outside of “progressive utopias”) have been involved in authoritarian actions. Even when not involved, they have (and will) stand by and watch other other armed government employees do terrible things. Also, they will, and have, lied to protect their clan. There is seldom a consequence for LEOs lying, so many lie. Yes, rural sheriff’s deputies are less likely to enforce county or state mask mandates and they are more likely to arrest mostly violent BLM/Antifa rioters, but when it’s “Showtime” they will not be helpful to the… Read more »


Posted a response, but it is on hold.


“… incongruities between the structure of the Constitution and the realities of the administrative state…”

THAT statement is the [exact, precise, specific, and only] reason for the impending civil war (which, despite “talking heads,” is indeed upcoming)…

Thank you for your impressive observation.


“With luck, enough faith will be restored in the fairness of elections, to prevent all-out violent confrontations.”

I don’t see this happening. The democrats are working overtime to polish their election-meddling techniques – you can bet they learned a lot in 2020.

I predict the midterm elections will be 100% rigged. And that will be the breaking point. It will be democrat hunting season – no limits, no firearm restrictions, no rules, open year `round.


Buster – actually they learned all they needed to in 2016. After all, ‘everything’ and ‘everyone’ had already determined that hillz was the winner’ – but then along came Trump and enough freedom loving Americans to toss a big monkey wrench into the works. They cheated then – just like they have been doing for decades but were so self assured that they didn’t cheat quite enough. They learned their lesson and took definitive steps to insure that there was no way Trump could possibly win. Remember, they sent out some 150 MILLION ‘mail in ballots’. They only needed to… Read more »


@Dean – I too hope violence can be averted. Violence would be the second worst possible outcome from the political impass – the worst being surrender (full or partial) those who believe in freedom and self determination.


You have already seen surrender in the Blue Utopias of California, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Maryland. People gleefully abandon their liberty for a false sense of security. The task now is to keep that cancer from spreading. The federal government is the vector of the spread.


Your view of rural sheriffs (outside of “Blue Utopias”) is based on optimism, not their past behaviors.


What I don’t understand, is where are they getting the guns to sell to make these record numbers of transactions? While there are some guns on the shelves, I just don’t see enough in my area to fuel these record numbers.


Because they have been sold.


The fact that firearms sales are up seems to point out the inability of the governments, federal, state and local to maintain the Constitutional assurances and confidence that we have had in the past. When politicians and bureaucrats blatantly attack our freedoms and rights, a less free society is forced to arm-up as a consequence much to the displeasure of those who are trying to disarm us. Our Constitution is a work of genius, but those who lied to uphold it are cunning and deliberate in its demise. This should be clear proof that our country has been infected and… Read more »


I just want to thank our government for giving almost all household 1,400.00 so they can buy a nice gun with it or multiple cheap guns if they choose rather than having to spend it on frivolous things like food, clothes and rent because God knows the economy per the demonrats is getting better. If they wait long enough, they might not even have to help us out we are doing so great under joe kamalatoe. Just listen to what he said in his address in his state of the union, oh wait he doesn’t have the time because he… Read more »


Excellent summation on what is transpiring Mr.Dean Weingarten. The words you put to paper could not have been more accurate. Our moment for the history books may be upon us.

Get Out

Anti-gun politicians keep spewing their gun control BS and anything gun related is in short supply. Visited a couple of LGS last week and they had no rifles, shotguns or pistols on the shelves. No ammo or reloading supplies either.


i think most moral middle ground people can agree our 2 party system is broken. no “normal” person wants far left or right leadership. so until we can come up with a third and/or forth/fifth, etc. party to restrain the outliers we’re fucked. i’m not talking about a green or other whack job party but mainstream for average person party(ies).


I think you need to re-evaluate what you consider to be “far right leadership.” The fact that you used that term tells me you don’t understand that which you are trying to talk about.