August 2021 Saw Second-Most Background Checks of Any August in History

With the help of an instructor (L) and of a mock pistol a South African woman learns to co
MARCO LONGARI/AFP via Getty Images

August 2021 saw the second-most number of National Instant Background Check System (NICS) checks of any August in history.

FBI figures show 2,715,223 NICS checks were conducted during August 2021, second only to the 3,115,063 NICS checks conducted in August 2020.

Breitbart News noted that July 2021 was a similar situation with 2,882,676 NICS checks conducted, second only to the 3,639,224 conducted in July 2020.

There were record background checks for 17 straight months, January 2020 through May 2021, with each of those 17 months breaking every previous record for NICS checks in that respective month.

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

Employee Gorety Mejia takes down a HK MP5 for a customer at Full Armor Firearms store in Houston, Texas on June 17, 2021. - Governor Greg Abbott signed into law Wednesday a bill that allows Texans to carry firearms in public without a permit, the latest in a series of measures expanding gun rights in conservative US states. The law, which was passed in the Republican-dominated state Senate and House of Representatives last month, will allow anyone 21 years or older who is not barred from possessing a firearm to carry one in public without a permit. (Photo by Mark Felix / AFP) (Photo by MARK FELIX/AFP /AFP via Getty Images)

Employee Gorety Mejia takes down a HK MP5 for a customer at Full Armor Firearms store in Houston, Texas on June 17, 2021. (Mark Felix/AFP via Getty Images)

The NICS check momentum dipped slightly in June 2021, but still leaving the month as one with the second-highest number of NICS checks of any June on record.

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.

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 Instagram: @awr_hawkins. Reach him at You can sign up to get Down Range at


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