The August 2012 NSSF-adjusted National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) figure of 1,042,924 is an increase of 27.8 percent over the NSSF-adjusted NICS figure of 815,858 in August 2011. For comparison, the unadjusted August 2012 NICS figure of 1,514,696 reflects a 16.5 percent increase from the unadjusted NICS figure of 1,300,433 in August 2011.According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, this is the highest August on record.
As I note when reporting these figures each month, there is not a direct correlation between sales and NICS checks for a variety of reasons. The primary one is that a number of states such as Kentucky, Iowa, and Michigan use it for CCW purposes For example, as one reader pointed out to me last month, the Commonwealth of Kentucky runs a NICS check on each and every carry licensee monthly. Moreover, in many states, a concealed carry license substitutes for a NICS check. Thus, purchases by these CCW holders are not counted in the NICS check totals.
Nonetheless, the rise in NICS checks does show the broader trends in the firearm marketplace.