NICS Adjusted Background Checks increased 0.9 percent in April to 1.69 million from 1.68 million a year ago. NSSF said the amount was the highest April on record.

The figures were competing against a year-ago hike of 69.1 percent in April 2020 when the pandemic started to spread in the U.S.

For comparison, the unadjusted April 2021 FBI NICS figure 3,485,016 reflects a 21.1 percent increase from the unadjusted FBI NICS figure of 2,878,176 in April 2020.

The adjusted NICS data were derived by subtracting NICS purpose code permit checks and permit rechecks used by several states including Connecticut, Illinois and Utah for CCW permit application checks and checks on active CCW permit databases. NSSF started subtracting permit rechecks in February 2016.

March 2021 NICS background checks, as adjusted by the NSSF, fell 14.0 percent against a tough year-ago comparison to mark the first decline since April 2019. In February, the adjusted background checks slowed to an increase of 7.2 percent following strong double-digit gains in recent months, including a 75.2 percent hike in January.

The 2020 annual total of 21.1 million, on an adjusted basis, represented a 59.7 percent increase over the 2019 annual total of 13.2 million. The 2020 total was the highest annual total on record, exceeding the previous record of 15.7 million set in 2016 by 34.3 percent.

NSSF estimates that in 2020, over 8.4 million people purchased a gun for the first time, based on retailer surveys.

Photo courtesy FBI Criminal Background Check and Gun Laws