Background Checks For Gun Sales Hit New Record

Background Checks For Gun Sales Hit New Record
smith & wesson 460 magnum Greta Ceresini/Flickr CC BY 2.0

Gun background checks experienced a spike in 2015, hitting a new record, federal data reveals.


There were as many as 3,314,594 FBI background checks in December; while the total for the year hit 23.1 million. Since the FBI started tracking data in 1998, it is the first time the number has crossed 3 million for a month. On Black Friday, November 27, 185,345 firearms background checks were processed. This trend was consistent with previous season holiday increases.

According to the FBI, around 6 million people who are banned from buying firearms are illegal aliens. On the other hand, 4 million people on the FBI’s list are mental health cases while 2 million are convicted of crimes.

According to NBC News, the increase in checks in December can be attributed to the Paris attacks in November and California attack in December.

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Background checks in November 2008, when President Obama was elected, reached as many as 1.529 million. With 12.7 million checks recorded in 2008, they have increased every year since.

ATF data suggests that there has been an increase in the number of new guns entering the market in the last six years. The total number of new firearms brought into the market during the presidencies of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush was around 40 million for the years of each administration.

At a press conference, Obama said, “Until we have a Congress that’s in line with the majority of Americans, there are actions within my legal authority that we can take to help reduce gun violence and save more lives.”

As reported by ABC News, House majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, however, opposed Obama’s actions, saying, “Ultimately, this executive ‘guidance’ is only a weak gesture — a shell of what the President actually wants. Congress and the American people have repeatedly said ‘no’ to President Obama’s ineffective policies that would infringe on the Second Amendment.”

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