FBI firearm background checks are down sharply from their record 2016 pace — although almost one in four states across the country appear to be buying guns as if Hillary Clinton won the election. Through June 30, the FBI has undertaken 1.2 million fewer firearm background checks than in 2016, putting this year on pace…
Through June 30, the FBI has undertaken 1.2 million fewer firearm background checks than in 2016, putting this year on pace for the biggest annual drop-off in checks since the bureau started collecting the data in 1998, according to the bureau’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS.
While background checks don’t exactly track gun sales, analysts say they’re a good barometer for the direction of the market.
Kentucky is by far the state with the most background checks — 2.2 million so far this year, a 19 percent rise from the same period last year, NICS data show.
With a population of about 4.4 million, the state is on trend for one background check for every person in the state.
By contrast, the 55,471 FBI background checks in New Jersey in the first half of the year translates on a full-year basis to one background check for every 83 residents.
Idaho, which has had 91,297 checks through June, saw a 39 percent increase, while FBI checks rose 30 percent in Minnesota and 23 percent in Wisconsin. Tennessee and South Carolina also saw checks rise by more than 8 percent.
Background check declined the most in Indiana and Connecticut, which both fell around 50 percent, and in Alabama, Washington and Missouri — each of which fell more than 22 percent.