December 27, 2020
Amid 2020’s ‘perfect storm’ of racial tensions, lockdowns, and a record spike in unemployment which coincided with a national crime wave, people have been stocking up on firearms like never before.
According to monthly FBI data, November was the busiest month on record for background checks with over 3.6 million applications – a figure which is up 40% from the prior November, putting the country at an all-time high of 35,758,249 checks so far this year – and 26% higher than 2019’s 28,400,000 checks.
The increase over 2019 marks the highest percentage increase in the 21-year history of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) (when one excludes data from the year 2,000 when the system was fully implemented and produced a synthetic 1,000% increase).
Still, November’s 3.6 million checks only places it fourth in 2020, as June saw a record 3,931,607 checks amid widespread rioting and violence amid BLM anti-police protests which began in late May following the death of George Floyd, a black man who died while in custody of Minneapolis police.