May 2021 Marks 17th Consecutive Month of Record Firearm Background Checks

TOPSHOT - A trainee fires her gun during the FASTER Level 2 two day firearms course at Flatrock Training Center in Commerce City, Colorado on August 10, 2019. - FASTER Colorado has been sponsoring firearms training to Colorado teachers and administrators since 2017. Over 200 Colorado teachers and administrators have …

May 2021 proved to be the 17th consecutive month of record National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) checks for firearm sales and transfers.

FBI figures show that 3,222,105 NICS checks were performed in May 2021, breaking the previous record of 3,091,455, set in 2020.

This means May 2021 witnessed more NICS checks than any May in history.

The record NICS check streak began in January 2020 and has not relented.

In order words, January 2020 saw more NICS checks than any January in history, February 2020 more than any February, March 2020 more than any March, and so on, all the way through May 2021.

It is important to remember that NICS checks are not a precise measurement for the number of gun sales taking place, as the checks are conducted on the would-be purchaser, rather than the gun itself. Moreover, an individual can buy more than one gun at retail once he or she has passed the background check. (That latter point means the number of NICS checks could be lower than the number of guns sold.)

Also, some states also regularly perform background checks on concealed carry permit holders as a way of maintaining oversight on possible criminal behavior.

For example, 39.7 million NICS checks were performed in 2020 and Small Arms Analytics & Forecasting estimates nearly 23 million firearms were sold.

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


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