NICS background checks performed in the U.S. 1998-2020

Number of background checks performed by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) in the United States from 1998 to 2020

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Source

Release date

March 2021

Region

United States

Survey time period

1998 to 2020

Supplementary notes

NICS is used by Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs) to instantly determine whether a prospective buyer is eligible to buy firearms or explosives. Before ringing up the sale, cashiers call in a check to the FBI or to other designated agencies to ensure that each customer does not have a criminal record or isn’t otherwise ineligible to make a purchase.
This number does not represent the number of firearms sold in the U.S. Based on varying state laws and purchase scenarios, a one-to-one correlation cannot be made between a firearm background check and a firearm sale.

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Statistics on "Firearms in the United States"

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