America Loves Guns: Over 16 Million Sold in 2022

Andrea Schry, right, fills out the buyer part of legal forms to buy a handgun as shop work
AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

Year-end figures from the FBI show there were over 31 million National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) background checks conducted in 2022 and over 16 million guns sold.

FBI figures show nearly 31.5 million NICS checks were conducted in 2022. The National Shooting Sports Foundation’s Mark Oliva noted that of those nearly 30 million background checks, 16,425,484 were for gun sales.

The 16,425,484 background checks for gun purchases make 2022 the third highest year on record of NICS checks for gun sales.

The NICS checks beyond the 16,425,484 were conducted for concealed carry permit applicants and holders in certain states.

Guns transferred or bought by concealed carry permit holders in states where permits allow individuals to forgo NICS checks at point of purchase are not included in the 16,425,484 sales figure. Therefore, the actual number of gun sales for 2022 may actually be much higher.

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio and a Turning Point USA Ambassador. AWR Hawkins holds a PhD in Military History, with a focus on the Vietnam War (brown water navy), U.S. Navy since Inception, the Civil War, and Early Modern Europe. Follow him on Instagram: @awr_hawkins. You can sign up to get Down Range at Reach him directly at


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