Wednesday, April 5, 2017

NICS Checks Resume Upward Path

The National Shooting Sports Foundation has released it latest adjusted-NICS data. The March 2017 adjusted-NICS checks have resumed their upward path that had been on hold since the election of Donald Trump. The adjusted-NICS checks had shown a year over year increase for the same month in the prior year throughout 2016 until the month of December when it showed a sharp decrease from the prior year. This also held true for the months of January and February 2017. The drop has been attributed to the end of panic buying in anticipation of new gun control measures from a President Hillary Clinton.

You can see this trend in the graphic below:

The numbers as reported by NSSF are as follows:
The March 2017 NSSF-adjusted National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) figure of 1,356,929 is an increase of 5.2 percent compared to the March 2016 NSSF-adjusted NICS figure of 1,289,670. For comparison, the unadjusted March 2017 FBI NICS figure of 2,422,749 reflects a 3.4 percent decrease from the unadjusted FBI NICS figure of 2,509,065 in March 2016.

The first quarter 2017 NSSF-adjusted National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) figure of 3,693,502 is a decrease of 10.8 percent over the 4,139,791 figure for first quarter 2016.
Even with this quarterly drop as compared to the prior year, March 2017 still was the second highest March on record.

NICS data is more indicative of trends than an actual one-to-one sale of firearms. This is due to certain states using the NICS check system for CCW permit background checks and permit rechecks as well as the exemption from a NICS check for holding of carry permits from certain states like North Carolina.


  1. I sling a lot of guns,over the counter at Gander Mountain. I'd say close to a third of them are to people with a GA carry permit so back ground check.

    1. Am I understanding you correctly in that a Georgia carry permit does NOT exempt you from a NICS check?

    2. The Georgia Weapons Carry License does in deed exempt you from a NICS check when buying a firearm from a FFL in GA. There are some FFLs(big box stores) that require the NICS check regardless of you possessing a GWCL. It is a company policy that they can require of any buyer. Don't like it..........then go buy from a different FFL.

    3. Ted - Thanks for that update. I understand what you said about big box stores. Even though I have a NC CHP, Walmart still ran a NICS check on me when I took advantage of their closeout on certain rifle models last year.

    4. John, you can thank the Big Box stores caving to the Demanding Moms and other Bloomberg groups for that.

    5. Sorry left out a no there. We don't run a check if you have a GA WCL. I was trying to illustrate that we're moving a lot of guns that aren't going to show on NICS data