The latest figures from the FBI show that background checks in January were approximately 500,000 lower than the record level of 2,545,802 set in January 2016.
Breitbart News has the new FBI figures, which show that the number of checks for January 2017 was 2,043,184.
Breitbart News reported that May 2015 through November 2016 marked 19 consecutive months of record background checks for firearms sales. The number of checks January 2016 through November 2016 was so high that those 11 months alone set an all-time record for the number of background checks performed in a given year.
But the record-breaking string of months ended in December 2016, when the number of checks performed came in about 550,000 lower than the record high. The record was December 2015, which witnessed 3,314,594 checks. December 2016 saw 2,771,159 checks.
The 2,771,159 background checks conducted in December 2016 still make that month one of the top three in the history for December. The only Decembers to surpass it are December 2015 and December 2012.
Background checks do not offer a precise reflection of the number of guns sold, as background checks are performed on buyers of guns rather than the guns themselves. Moreover, each buyer can purchase multiple guns once he passes a check. So a month with 3,000,000 checks could actually translate into 6,000,000 guns sold if every buyer bought two guns, and could total 9,000,000 if every buyer bought three.
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.