FBI background checks totaled 2.8 million last month, down approximately 5 percent from June, 39 percent from March—the highest month ever—and 20 percent from July 2020. That’s according to data from the FBI-run National Instant Criminal Background Check System, established by a 1993 federal law.
It’s the fifth consecutive month overall checks have dropped.
Demand for guns and gun-related items shot up in 2020 as governors across the nation imposed harsh measures in an attempt to curb the spread of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, which causes COVID-19, and riots unfolded in cities across the nation.
The demand carried into this year before dropping since the peak in March.
Still, demand for guns remains high, according to adjusted figures from the National Sports Shooting Foundation (NSSF).
NSSF, the firearm industry’s trade group, breaks down the FBI’s background check numbers, separating checks done only for gun sales.
NSSF said nearly 1.3 million checks were conducted for a gun in July. That was down 30 percent compared to the adjusted figure of 1.8 million in July 2020 but slightly up from June, when 1.27 million checks were completed. The adjusted number for May was 1.32 million.
That means about 11 million gun checks have been done this year, after 21 million were carried out in 2020.
“Summer is typically a part of the year when firearm sales will slow, but July’s figures defy that trend. Americans are still buying guns and they’re buying them in numbers higher than previous years and at a pace that would have been unpredictable two or three years ago,” Mark Olivia, spokesman for the group, said in a statement.
“Factors that continue to drive sales are undeniably concerns for personal safety, along with overtures from the Biden administration to pursue a strict gun control agenda. Those measures include the proposed ban on brace-equipped AR pistols, the proposal to redefine frame or receiver and regulate out of existence the ability of law-abiding Americans to build their own firearms in the home for personal use, and the nomination of David Chipman to be director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.”
The nomination of Chipman, an adviser to the gun control group Giffords, has proved controversial, drawing staunch opposition from Senate Republicans.
“David Chipman is an antigun extremist who would politicize one of the world’s greatest agencies, the ATF. If confirmed he would be the most radically antigun director in the ATF history,” Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) said on the Senate floor this week.
But the White House has stood by the nomination, even amid doubt it will draw enough votes in the upper chamber.
“We are disappointed by the fact that many Republicans are moving in lockstep to try to hold up his nomination and handcuff the chief federal law enforcement agency tasked with fighting gun crimes. It speaks volumes to their complete refusal to tackle the spike in crime we’ve seen over the last 18 months,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters in Washington on Aug. 4.