Months after the 19-month streak of record-breaking background checks came to an end, the number of background checks for April 2017 reached near-record levels.
According to FBI figures, 2,045,564 background checks were conducted last month, which is only about 100,000 checks away from the record of 2,145,865, set in April 2016.
Breitbart News reported that a string of 19 months of record background checks began in May 2015, when that month witnessed more background checks than any May in history. June 2015 followed suit, witnessing more background checks than any June in history. And the streak continued as July 2015, August 2015, September 2015, and the remaining months all broke records to close out the year. Then, beginning with January 2016, records were set anew through November 2016.
In fact, by the end of November 2016, there had already been more background checks in the first 11 months of 2016 than during any full year in history.
The streak ended in December 2016, when 2,771,159 checks were conducted. That represented a 500,000 decrease from the record of 3,314,594 checks, set in December 2015. But Breitbart News pointed out that even with the 500,000 check decrease, December 2016 remained one of the top three Decembers of all time. Only December 2015 and 2012 surpassed it.
Notably, background checks are not a precise indicator of gun sales because background checks are conducted on the gun buyer rather than the guns bought. And a buyer can purchase multiple guns after passing a background check. This means the 2,045,564 checks for April 2017 would actually equal 4,091,128 guns sold if every would-be buyer purchased two guns.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.