Americans Broke All-Time Record For Gun Background Checks In June

I suppose the question now is whether this trend will continue unabated.

Americans are anxious to get their hands on guns.

In and of itself, that’s not terribly surprising. But it is worth noting that the latest data from the National Instant Criminal Background Check System appears to show unadjusted checks surged to 3.93 million in June.

As far as I can tell, that is an all-time high.

The pre-2020 record was 3,314,594 in December of 2015. June marked the third month in 2020 that NICS unadjusted checks have topped 3 million.

On any common sense interpretation, this is a response to four factors: The pandemic, the threat of martial law in connection with civil unrest, the civil unrest itself, and, in all likelihood, Joe Biden’s wide lead in the polls (typically, when Democrats lead in the polls, some Americans become concerned about gun rights).

What’s particularly remarkable is that all four weeks in June qualify for the list of highest weekly totals for NICS checks (teal bars denote years other than 2020).

Seven of the top 10 weeks in history for firearm checks have come in 2020, including the week of March 22, during which there were nearly 1.2 million checks, according to the FBI.

As for the “best” days ever, 2020 boasts five of the top 10, all in March.

Americans were clearly concerned when the country was thrust into lockdown mode amid the coronavirus containment effort.

At the time, headlines were apocalyptic, toilet paper was sold out, and the household cleaner aisles were bare.

Meanwhile, shares of Smith & Wesson and Ruger are coming off solid monthly performances, with “solid” being an understatement for the former.

I suppose the question now is whether this trend will continue unabated.

After all, the virus is resurgent, lockdowns are making a comeback, and Donald Trump doesn’t look to be making much progress in the polls.


16 comments on “Americans Broke All-Time Record For Gun Background Checks In June

  1. An awful lot of those non-2020 high weeks occurred around Thanksgiving in a number of different years. What’s up with guns and Thanksgiving??

    • I’m guessing a combo of Black Friday sales and the fact that in many states (Pennsylvania for example) the first day of deer season is the Monday after Thanksgiving (and a school holiday). Recently PA began to allow buck hunting on the Sunday following Thanksgiving, which the gun stores opposed – one less shopping day.

  2. Through guns into the mix. Yeah. Nothing but good can come out of it. 36k gun-related deaths already every year. 100k harmed by guns. Add in insurrection. Systemic racism. Mental depression. Joblessness. Premature deaths. Alcohol abuse. Climate change. Drug abuse. Poverty. Covid. Malaise. Might as well start giving out coupons for a free six-pack of beer with the purchase of a box of ammo.

    This decade in the US is going to suck. Already does.

  3. Anecdotal only – but I’ve spoken with quite a few left-of-enter people who are laying in arms and ammo. Mostly out of concern of an uprising from the Trumpers after the election.

    • It’s not a negligible concern. Especially given the white supremacist action we saw recently here in MN.

    • And anecdotally speaking, the wealthy are entering the gun game due to fears of an uprising by those at the bottom of the wealth divide.

  4. Old friends dear friends gun friends always fear their hobby is going away, always making adjustments in anticipation. Latest trend converting AR 15’s to single shot only, makes my old companion a hunting rifle and therefore able to stay with my old friends in the future so they say. They do hunt. With feeders and bows however.

  5. I suppose that some on the right will now start arguing for gun control.


  6. Can you break down the applications by demographics or political affiliation? Probably not. It might be interesting though. I might hazard to guess that there are limits to these applications as distributors stock may have run dry. Challenging to get Ammo as well.
    The notion of gun control from a Democratic sweep is not frivolous.
    Thinking that a gun might be useful probably is frivolous!

    • Anonymous

      It was Trump that said to take their guns away and make them sue to get them back. Democrats believe in Due Process, fascists do not.

    • It was Trump that said to take their guns away and make them sue to get them back. Democrats believe in Due Process, fascists do not.

  7. Amongst the developed civilized nations of the world, is there any other country in the world with such prevalent civilian arms ownership ?

    Wisdom in the crowds much ?

  8. Nothing to worry about. All the gun owners are part of our well regulated militia. /s

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