Gun Laws & Legislation

NICS Background Checks: Second Highest September

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The September 2014 NSSF-adjusted National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) figure of 1,024,272 is the second highest September on record for the 16-year-old system, even with a decrease of 1.0 percent compared to the September 2013 NSSF-adjusted NICS figure of 1,034,701. For comparison, the unadjusted September 2014 NICS figure of 1,447,485 reflects a 4.0 percent increase from the unadjusted NICS figure of 1,392,423 in September 2013.

As a matter of interest, we present a snapshot of the trends in monthly adjusted background check trends YTD comparing 2014 with 2013, the year of record numbers of such checks. This “new normal” was highlighted in a recent NSSF blog post.

The adjusted NICS data were derived by subtracting out NICS purpose code permit checks used by several states such as Connecticut, Illinois, and Utah for CCW permit application checks as well as checks on active CCW permit databases.

Though not a direct correlation to firearms sales, the NSSF-adjusted NICS data provide a more accurate picture of current market conditions. In addition to other purposes, NICS is used to check transactions of firearms sales and transfers on new and used handguns and long guns.

For additional information on NICS or to view a complete set of the current monthly reports, please visit the NICS website.

Questions concerning NSSF-adjusted NICS data should be directed to NSSF at 203-426-1320 or Additional research is available at NSSF members are able to access historical monthly NICS data by logging in and clicking on “NSSF Industry Research” then “Monthly updates of NICS data.”

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