In August of 2021, National Instant Background Check System (NICS) and the associated gun sales are at high levels, but not as high as the record sales in 2020. The August sales of 2021 are the second-highest on record, as were the July sales in 2021.
This may indicate a new normal of consistently high gun sales, below the record-setting levels of 2020.
There were about 1.29 million gun sales recorded by NICS this past August. In 2020, gun sales were about 1.67 million. The next highest August was in 2016, with about 1.17 million gun sales.
These consistently high gun sales in 2020 may come from political unrest, lack of faith in the electoral system, and millions of new gun owners. In 2020, estimates of new gun owners varied between 4 and 8 million. This correspondent has not seen any surveys showing a percentage of new gun owners for 2021. There have been about 12.5 million firearm sales through federally licensed dealers in 2021 by the end of August. There were about 13.5 million sales by the end of August in 2020.