New data compiled by the FBI shows a historic high in the number of gun retrievals ordered as a result of failed background checks between 2020 and 2021, with more orders being issued in the history of the federal firearm background check system.
A total of 6,361 firearm retrieval referrals were issued to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) in 2020 in instances where the individual’s background check was found to be ineligible for reasons including, but not excluded to, criminal records, disqualifying military service records, mental health history, etc.
Another 5,203 referrals were issued in 2021, according to the data. 2021 added to the largest two-year total since the National Instant Criminal Background Check System began publishing data in 1998, according to USA Today.
The number of referrals in 2020 shot up in the month of June, with a total of 1,406 being issued. 2021 saw its monthly high in March, with a total of 931 referrals being issued.
Individuals are able to challenge the denial and/or inquire as to why their initial request was denied. Data shows approximately 1.45% of the NICS background checks processed in 2020 received a final transaction status of deny, with 1.26% receiving a final status of deny in 2021.
The FBI noted that the retrieval orders represent a small portion of the millions of gun checks processed in both 2020 and 2021. The 2022 data has not yet been released.
The new data comes as states have worked to pass a number of gun laws over the last several years, with Nebraska being one of the most recent states to take action. Conservative lawmakers in the states are in the works to pass a bill that would allow people to carry concealed guns in Nebraska without a permit.
There are currently 25 other states with laws that allow people to carry concealed guns without a permit, according to the Associated Press.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.