Another Year-Over-Year Slide In NICS Numbers For May


May’s NICS numbers slid from their 2023 totals for the same month, but they were still high, according to the NSSF. [FBI]

NICS numbers for May 2024, were down year-over-year compared to May 2023, which shows the trend of decreasing background inquiries continues—but so does the trend of numbers exceeding the one-million-per-month mark. The shooting industry still has a lot of momentum going forward, even if the COVID boom is trailing off.

Sales figures @ TFB

NICS stands for National Instant Criminal Background Check System. This federal database inquiry system is used in many firearms sales as well as for other firearms-related transactions, such as applications for a concealed carry licence.

NICS map

The number of NICS inquiries in a month is not a direct correlation to how many firearms are sold; it’s only a rough guess, since multiple firearms can be sold per single query, or none. Twenty-eight US states have laws permitting other licenses to substitute for a NICS query. Add it all up, and the numbers are a big guesstimate of the firearms industry’s health.

However, a guesstimate is better than having no idea at all, and the National Shooting Sports Foundation has a magic formula they apply to the numbers compiled by the FBI. Using their formula, the NSSF says they can give a rough estimate as to how many firearms sales actually happened.

May NICS numbers

Here’s the NSSF’s official PR on the May numbers:

The May 2024 NSSF-adjusted National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) figure of 1,089,117 is a decrease of 7.2 percent compared to the May 2023 NSSF-adjusted NICS figure of 1,174,142.

For comparison, the unadjusted May 2024 FBI NICS figure of 2,000,505 reflects a 14.6 percent decrease from the unadjusted FBI NICS figure of 2,343,850 in May 2023.

May 2024 marks the 58th month in a row that has exceeded 1 million adjusted background checks in a single month.

Considering these sales took place in the middle of our slow-rolling North American economic crisis, it seems the demand for guns, ammo and licensing is not going away anytime soon.

Read the full article here


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