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2020 Breaks All the Records

Monday, November 9, 2020

2020 Breaks All the Records

A record number of Americans have exercised one of the most important rights affirmed by the founders of this great nation: the right to keep and bear arms.

The FBI NICS office conducted 3,305,465 background checks last month – breaking the record for the month of October by nearly a million checks. Each month in 2020 has broken the record for background checks in that month. October was the fifth busiest month ever for the NICS office, which has now run 32,131,914 NICS checks in 2020. We – the American people -  broke the annual record last month; this year has now seen 13% more checks than the previous busiest year for the NICS office.

Thirty-two million background checks so far this year, and we haven’t seen Black Friday or holiday sales yet.

Not all of these checks are related to the sale of a firearm. Some may be related to the sale of multiple firearms and some are permit applications that result in the permit holder being able to lawfully acquire a firearm without a NICS check (as the permit itself involves a NICS check).

The FBI’s “Year by State Type” report breaks out checks related to the sale of some categories of firearms. We’ve seen 9,955,762 checks related to the sale of a handgun this year and 5,560,682 related to the sale of a long gun, to go along with 706,924 checks in the “other” category that may include lower receivers. There were also 327,218 checks related to “multiple sales.”

Nearly ten million handgun related checks have been run so far this year. No- saying “nearly ten million” seems like we’re overselling the number. Let’s describe it this way: the first 10 months of 2020 saw the record for handgun-related NICS checks broken by 1,870,264 checks.

We’re more than 1.56 million checks related to the sale of a long gun away from that record, but October alone saw 666,613 such checks. The last three months have seen an average of 615k long gun checks; we may get close to that record this year as well.

This isn’t about records, though. There’s no prize for being the millionth gun buyer, no last national advertising campaign like those run by car dealers to hit a sales goal. The numbers and records are great because they give us the best way to quantify Americans’ interest in protecting themselves and in the shooting sports. Anti-gun politicians seek to marginalize gun owners, to make our community the focus of scorn. But, the numbers don’t lie.

Gun buyers in 2020 come in every conceivable combination of age, race, and gender but they all have one thing in common: the desire to protect themselves and their loved ones. Millions of Americans have become first-time gun buyers just this year, largely for that reason. 

Gun control organizations continually rebrand themselves and campaign on unrelated issues to secretly advance their agenda. Americans keep buying guns so they’re able to take care of themselves and their families. 

No amount of money spent by self-righteous billionaires, professional “volunteers,” bused-in “protestors,” or bought-and-paid for politicians can conceal this truth: 

There are tens of millions of law-abiding gun owners in this country. Collectively, they own hundreds of millions of firearms, including more than 18 million semi-automatic rifles

Let’s see how many more Americans join our community in the coming months. Let’s see how many background checks are run.

We’ll see a new record next month.

And the month after that.

Then we start back at zero for 2021.

At least the FBI NICS counter will. The number of American gun owners will just continue to grow.

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.