December Was 12th Consecutive Month of Record Firearm Background Checks

Mark O'Connor fills out his Federal background check paperwork as he purchases a handgun a
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

December 2020 was the 12th consecutive month of record National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) background checks.

Figures from the FBI show there were 3,937,066 NICS checks in December, breaking the previous record of 3,314,594 checks, set in December 2015.

Breitbart News noted that January 2020 set the record for the most NICS checks in any January, February 2020 set a record for the most NICS checks in any February, March 2020 the most for any March, and so on and so forth. November 2020 was the 11th consecutive month of record NICS checks.

Background checks do not give a clear indication of the number of guns sold, inasmuch as the checks are performed on the purchaser rather than the gun. Moreover, a purchaser can buy multiple guns after passing a background check. So, that two million checks could actually translate into four or five million guns.

Also, some states regularly perform background checks on concealed carry license holders, and those checks are not tied to firearm purchases.

Yet, suffice it to say, a lot of guns were sold in 2020. The National Shooting Sports Foundation estimates over 8.4 million people legally purchased a firearm for the first time in 2020.

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkinsa weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him at You can sign up to get Down Range at


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.