This report is the 18th in a series produced by the Bureau of Justice Statistics. It details the number of applications for background checks for firearm transfers and permits received by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and state and local checking agencies. It also describes the types of permits or checks used by each state, the number of denials issued by these agencies, and the reasons for denial.
- The FBI and state and local checking agencies received about 16.7 million applications for firearm transfers and permits in 2019 and 25.0 million applications in 2020.
- About 243,000 (1.5%) applications for firearm transfers and permits were denied in 2019, and 398,000 (1.6%) were denied in 2020.
- The FBI received about 12.8 million applications in 2020 and denied 185,000 (1.5%), while state and local checking agencies received more than 12.2 million applications and denied about 212,000 (1.7%).
- In 2020, state checking agencies denied 2.7% of purchase permits, 1.8% of instant checks, 1.2% of exempt carry permits, and 0.2% of other approvals.