A story in three numbers: 1,848,307 vs. 1,279,300 vs. 1,233,115. That’s the number of NSSF-adjusted FBI NICS background checks that led to likely over-the-counter gun sales at licensed firearm dealers in July 2020, July 2021, and July 2022, respectively.
That is a year-over-year decrease for the past three years, dropping 41.3 percent from 2020 to 2021 and a shallower 4.5 percent when comparing last month to the July 2021 figures.
Sounds bad, right? Well, on a three-year basis, yes, but– and it’s a big but– for the past 36 months, something has happened that has never occurred before in U.S. gun history: every single month has seen over 1 million guns sold. Thirty-six months, at least 36 million guns. Folks have gone wild for guns and don’t show any sign of stopping.
If you are curious, the July 2019 NSSF-adjusted NICS figure was a paltry 830,579.