Background Check Record
Photo by Andy Grossman
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Congratulations America, you did it. With two full months left on the dumpster fire of 2020, the country set a new NICS firearm background check record for the year. Yep, it’s been one helluva year.

America Sets Background Check Record for Firearms

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) reports figures from its adjusted National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) report. So far in 2020, the FBI conducted 17.2 million background checks. This already surpasses the previous record of 15.7 million, set in 2016. And there’s still two months to go.

October 2020 brought 7,769,554 adjusted NICS checks; that number comprised an increase of 60.1 percent over October 2019. Unadjusted, the number reflects 3.2 million NICS checks in October.

The NSSF-adjusted NICS checks for January to October 2020, totaling 17.2 million, already exceeded the total of 13.1 million for this time last year. The 30.5-percent increase continues a trend of record-breaking months that began in March.

“This much is clear as we head into Election Day,” said Mark Oliva, NSSF Director of Public Affairs. “Americans of all political persuasions are exercising their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms and doing so in record numbers. This hasn’t been a phenomenon of just red states, but also blue states. Never before have so many Americans chosen to exercise their right to firearm ownership, including the estimated 6.9 million who purchased a firearm for the first time this year. Additionally, this has been a sustained period of firearm sales since March. This is clearly not a one-off event.”

2020 Proves Challenging on All Fronts

The upward trend in firearm sales began with the initial onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. As states shut down, an unprecedented run on good began, including firearms and ammunition. It caused an ammo shortage for much of the year. Then civil unrest sprang up in the wake of the George Floyd death. Rioters took to the street in record numbers. Then a defund the police movement shook communities across the country. So Americans turned to purchasing a gun, many for the first time, to guarantee their protection.

“It cannot be discounted that today’s gun buyers are faced with polar opposites of presidential candidates when it comes to protecting Second Amendment rights,” Oliva said. “President Donald Trump vowed to safeguard this right and former Vice President Joe Biden and his running mate Senator Kamala Harris have both embraced outright confiscation of lawfully owned firearms as the headliner of the most far-reaching gun control agenda to be presented to the American voter.”

Today Americans head to the polls with one of the biggest decisions of their lives. On one side, the most anti-gun ticket in the history of the American presidency. On the other side, a man who pledged to protect the Second Amendment. You decide.

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