The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) reported that the April 2024 NSSF-adjusted National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) figure declined 11.2 percent year-over-year to 2,497,577 compared to the April 2023 NSSF-adjusted NICS figure of 2,954,230.

For comparison, the unadjusted April 2024 FBI NICS figure of 2,240,434 reflects a 14.4 percent decrease from the unadjusted FBI NICS figure of 2,616,729 in April 2023.

NSSF said that April 2024 marks the 57th consecutive month that has exceeded one million adjusted background checks in one month.

Twenty-four states have at least one qualified alternative permit, which under the Brady Act allows the permit holder, who has undergone a background check to obtain the permit, to purchase a firearm from a licensed dealer without a separate additional background check for that transfer. The number of NICS checks in these states does not include these legal transfers based on qualifying permits, and NSSF does not adjust for these transfers.

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

Though not a direct correlation to firearms sales, the NSSF-adjusted NICS data provides an additional picture of current market conditions. In addition to other purposes, NICS is used to check transactions for sales or transfers of new or used firearms.

It should be noted that these statistics represent the number of firearm background checks initiated through the NICS. They do not represent the number of firearms sold or sales dollars. Based on varying state laws, local market conditions and purchase scenarios, a one-to-one correlation cannot be made between a firearm background check and a firearm sale.

Data and graphics courtesy NSSF