Recent data released from May 2021 reveals that the past month marks the 17th consecutive month that the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) has increased the number of background checks conducted for transfers and sales of firearms.
Data released by the FBI also reveals that 3,222,105 total NICS checks were conducted throughout the month of May, which shattered the prior record of 3,091,455 checks conducted in May 2020.
Consequently, May 2021 has observed more background checks from the NICS than any other May in recorded history.
The increased rise in NICS checks started in earnest on January 2020, and it has yet to abate.
Moreover, it is also important to bear in mind that the number of checks conducted by NICS do not constitute precise measurements for the total number of actual gun sales taking place; instead, these checks are conducted on potential firearms purchases, rather than purchases of firearms themselves.
For instance, in 2020, a total of 39.7 million background checks were conducted by the NICS while a total of 23 million firearms were sold.
However, an individual with an approved background check can purchase more than one gun in a retail setting, which suggests that the total number of NICS background checks may well be lower than the total number of firearms subsequently sold.
Additionally, some states also consistently run various background checks on individuals that have concealed carry permits, primarily to maintain oversight regarding potential criminal behavior associated with these permits.
Also, some states also regularly perform background checks on concealed carry permit holders as a way of maintaining oversight on possible criminal behavior.