Boom: NICS Background Checks on Guns Up 10 Percent in October

NAA Mini Revolver

Background check data suggests a 10 percent increase in the number of gun sales nationwide last month (Photo: Eger/

October 2019 saw a bump in the number of firearm background checks when compared to the same month in 2018.

The unadjusted figures of 2,327,252 checks conducted through the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System last month is a nearly 14.5 percent increase from the unadjusted FBI NICS figure of 2,033,276 in October 2018.

When adjusted — removing figures for gun permit checks and rechecks by numerous states who use NICS for that purpose — the latest benchmark remains a stout 1,105,335, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade organization for the U.S. gun industry. This number is a significant 10 percent higher when compared to the October 2018 NSSF-adjusted NICS figure of 1,005,062.

When compared to the data from 15 years before, last month’s figure was a staggering 49 percent higher.

October 2019 is also the sixth month in a row that the number of adjusted checks was higher than the previous year’s data.

The NICS numbers do not include private gun sales in most states or cases where a concealed carry permit is used as alternatives to the background check requirements of the 1994 Brady law which allows the transfer of a firearm over the counter by a federal firearms license holder without first performing a NICS check. Over 20 states accept personal concealed carry permits or licenses as Brady exemptions.

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