NICS for July, 2021, Second Highest Gun Sales on Record, Down from 2020

Millions of law-abiding citizens submit to background checks, as intimated by the president's comment to reporters. (Dave Workman)
NICS for July, 2021, Second Highest Gun Sales on Record, Down from 2020 (Dave Workman)

U.S.A.-( July 2021 was the second-highest total July for National Instant background Check System (NICS) checks on record. The highest was in July of 2020.  The number of checks done in July of 2021 was 2,860,476. The number in July of 2020 was 3,639,224.

July 2021 was also the second-highest July for gun sales on record, with the highest having been last year, July of 2020, as well. The July 2021 gun sales were 1.84 million. The calculation of the number is approximate, consisting of handgun checks + Long guns checks + Other guns checks + 2.5 x multiple sales on 1 check = 1.84 million gun sales in July 2020. The percentage of gun sales of all NICS checks for the month was 51%.

Comparison of NICS 2020 gun sales by type/month with 2021 gun sales by type/month

For July of 2021, using the same formula, the number of gun sales was 1.25 million.  The percentage of gun sales of all NICS checks was only 44%.

In July of 2016, the number of gun sales was 1.22 million, slightly less. The percentage of checks used for gun sales was 48%.

The major culprit in de-linking background checks from gun sales is the use of the checks for numerous other purposes, especially for carry permits and carry permit rechecks.  The FBI does not charge states to run NICS checks, so Illinois and Kentucky run hundreds of thousands of re-checks on carry permits every month.

Demand for guns and ammunition is still very high, as noted by the numbers. However, the demand has dropped off the record-shattering levels experienced in 2020. With over a year of record-breaking demand, firearm producers responded.

Guns were flying out of manufacturers’ hands and into citizens’ hands.  Ammunition was being sold long before it reached retail shelves. The demand was high and the prices were as well. Such levels of demand cannot be sustained.

In June of 2021, it was clear demand had dropped. Manufacturers were meeting the demand. Ammunition and firearms were both appearing back in retail stores. Prices were dropping.

The number of firearms added to the private stock in 2020 was about 21 million.

The number of firearms added to the private stock through July of 2021, has been about  11 million.

That puts the total number of private firearms in the United States at 475 million at the end of July.

It is an enormous number, 167 million new guns have been added to the private stock since the election of Barack Obama in 2008.  The divisions set into motion by President Obama have been accelerated and amplified by the Biden administration, so far.

There may be a trillion rounds of ammunition stockpiled in private hands in the United States.  That would be about 12 years of production and import. It would only be a little more than 200 rounds for each gun in private hands. It is nearly impossible to determine how much ammunition is stored in private hands. To do so, it would be necessary to include the components for making ammunition by people who reload cartridges.

Perhaps it would be necessary to determine those who cast their own bullets, produce their own gunpowder, recharge their own primers and percussion caps.

All of those things are being done by hundreds, thousands, millions of people in the United States.

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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it would be a good guess that about 3% of gun owners are capable of making their own powder and primers, I have done both ,and black powder . I have reloaded rimfire in 22 for proof of concept,and did larger because some early rimfire rounds are not available


I have enough 22 to last me through my next lifetime if I can figure out who I was and go steal it from myself.


They are running out of people to buy guns! LOL! They are all dying of CONvid! LOL! We live in a world of make believe.

Deplorable Bill

Looks to me like “defund the police” has consequences. People have the GOD given right to self defense. In this country the 2A is supposed to guarantee that fact. Now, you need to get trained. Yes, taking a ccw course is good and wise but don’t stop there. Find yourself a combat pistol, rifle or shotgun club. IDPA is a good place to start. Don’t think less of those cowboy matches, you can learn a lot and you never need feel unarmed with a good six shooter, leaver gun and shotgun. Try a 3 gun match. Most combat matches use… Read more »