NICS Checks Down For Month of July, First Time Since 2005


For the first time in nine years the NSSF is reporting that the NICS checks are down from the previous year for the month of July.  There has been steady growth in the industry in the past 15 years, with the NICS checks for purchases doubling in that time frame.

With 816,588 NICS checks for purchases in July 2014 works out to be 4.5% below July 2013.  Which is far greater than a statistical anomaly.  I would be interested to see if the August numbers are lower as well. Looking at the numbers for June 2014, there is a 6.3% decrease between the months. NSSF adjusted

The July 2014 NSSF-adjusted National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) figure of 816,588 is the third highest July on record for the 16-year-old system, even with a decrease of 4.5 percentcompared to the July 2013 NSSF-adjusted NICS figure of 855,259. For comparison, the unadjusted July 2014 NICS figure of 1,393,705 reflects a 9.6 percent increase from the unadjusted NICS figure of 1,271,571 in July 2013.

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.”


  • westford86

    This is not a big surprise to me. Guns are not selling right now, even stuff that’s reasonably priced isn’t moving on the forums. I think it’s safe to say everyone is brooke form years of panic buying.

    • allannon

      Not those of us who didn’t panic buy. 😉

      Now…I wonder if I can talk the LGS down a couple hundred bucks on a Tavor. (Likely not, but hey…a guy can dream.)

      • billyoblivion

        We’re just broke because of the economy. 🙂

        • allannon

          I’m not broke; I’m just economically impaired!

      • You know how some guys get their lowers engraved “safe” “fire” and “$$$”? On a tavor you should get “safe” “fire” and the Iraeli New Shekel sign, haha!

        • allannon

          A couple years ago I was thinking about having a lower with a wallet for “safe”, and a cash register for “fire”. 😀

  • Indrid_Cold

    That data looks to me more like 2014 is back on the original upward growth trendline beginning in 2003, where 2012 and 2013 were outliers.

  • John

    Not surprised. My local shop has been selling fewer and fewer guns as of late. Like everything else, it was a bubble, nothing more.

    • It was also a bubble doing damage to businesses now. I was talking with a CEO of a company in the southeast. He passed along that a local gun store of rather huge proportions was having serious problems moving anything black rifle related. He related the store was selling new DPMS AR carbines for $450. They had another deal where you purchased a different brand of AR right at cost and got a Carbon 15 for free.
      If this continues we’ll see more stores going out of business.

      • greensoup

        Gun stores have gotten super boring. Its a bunch of exactly the same generic AR’s everywhere. Not one of anything I would actually buy, hey how about a Stoeger Coach gun, maybe a 357 lever action, how about a single action revolver or a pump 22. Nope AR, AR with long rails, AR with short rails, AR with smiley faces, AR with different sights. snoooozzzeeee.

  • I hate to make a politics joke, so here goes.

    According to some news reports, our great leader is failing in many aspects of his role as President of the United States.

    Is he also failing in his unofficial role as America’s Greatest Gun Salesman? 😛

    Please, I had to interject this!

  • Lance

    Probably news of the GOP taking the Senate ad Obama’s gunban dream will then be DOA

    is the reason why. Face the fear mongers selling guns have less fear to lie about in the last year since Obama’s AWB died in his own parties senate. Hope we remember the jerks who rip us off when prices do go down.

    • Frank

      The chances of a a federal AWB have been DOA since the republicans took control of the house. You can’t pass a bill without the house and the senate agreeing on it. The only real worry is if you’re in a state with a super majority in the state house, even that’s shakey now because of the recall elections that happened in Colorado.

  • Xaun Loc

    As the article mentions, the NICS count is not directly equivalent to firearms sales, even with the NSSF adjustments. Over the last few years more and more states have eliminated NICS checks for CCW holders. This can significantly reduce the NICS numbers in those states.

  • TexTopCat

    It is more of a return to normal increases. However, there would be more guns sold if ammo was available and cheap. The import restrictions and government not selling brass have had some impact. Also, the cost and scarcity of raw materials, like lead, brass, power, and primers are issues.

    Another, thing that is not accounted for is that many states, like Texas, do not call NICS for background checks if the buyer has a CHL, so with more CHL people, less checks.