NSSF-adjusted NICS numbers smashed all records throughout 2020.

If we can find a silver lining in the dumpster fire that was 2020, it has to be firearms sales. And to close things out, the NSSF just reported a new official record of guns sold in 2020 — a massive 21 million.

Guns Fly Off the Shelves in 2020

“The fact that more than 21 million background checks were conducted for the sale of a firearm in 2020 shows just how much value the American public places in their God-given Second Amendment rights,” said Mark Oliva, NSSF Director of Public Affairs. “This record year surpassed 2019’s totals by 60 percent and the previous record of 2016 by 34 percent. NSSF estimates that more than 8.4 million people legally purchased a firearm for the first time in 2020.”

December 2020 continued the near year-long trend of record-breaking months. The adjusted NICS for December hit 1,906,916, an increase of 22.7 percent over December 2019’s 1,553,965. Unadjusted numbers showed a 34.7-percent increase, a whopping 3,904,879 FBI NICS in December.

“This occurred under the most challenging of circumstances,” Oliva said. “Law-abiding Americans demanded to exercise their right to lawfully purchase, keep and bear arms. Some governors, mayors and even Members of Congress actively stood in the way of that and didn’t relent until faced with court action. At the same time, workers in these firearm and ammunition factories, distributors, retailers and ranges made adjustments to keep their workforce safe and protected from infection while keeping pace with the demand of the American public. That’s a testament to the determination of the American worker that makes our freedoms possible.

2020 Smashes Previous Data

The year proved record-breaking in nearly every measurable metric. Fourth quarter 2020 saw a 40.6-percent increase, up to 5,625,610. 2020 becomes the highest annual year total on record. It exceeds the previous record, 15,700,471 in 2016, by 34.3 percent. Better still, more than 8.4 million people purchased a first gun in 2020.

“It is arguable that background check figures could be higher, had inventory been fuller,” Oliva said. “Retail shelves are still sparse; this tells us there is still a strong demand and that elevated levels of firearm sales could continue for some time. Pursuit of restrictions on gun rights or targeting of the firearm industry by the Biden administration will only signal that this will be an administration that won’t seek to support and protect American rights, but will cater to special interest groups that seek to disarm law-abiding Americans. Should that occur, I anticipate the growth of first-time gun buyers and overall firearm sales will be closer to what was seen in 2020 than in previous years.”

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