Already More Firearm Purchase Background Checks in 2016 Than Any Year in History

Mark O'Connor fills out his Federal background check paperwork as he purchases a handgun a
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Already, more background checks for firearm purchases have been conducted in 2016 than any year in history.

According to the FBI, the number of checks January 1, 2016, through November 3o, 2016, sits at 24,767,514. This means more background checks have been conducted in this 11-month period than in all 12 months of any previous year. It also means 2016 has already broken the record set in 2015, when 23,141,970 background checks were performed January 1 through December 31.

During this flurry of background checks, November 2016 became the 19th consecutive month of record-setting checks. There were 2,561,281 checks performed in November alone, surpassing the previous November record, set in 2015, by approximately 320,000.

Breitbart News reported that the number of background checks conducted in October beat the previous October record by 356,780 checks; the number conducted in September beat the previous September record by 200,000; the number conducted in August beat the previous August record by approximately 100,000; and the list continues back to May 2015, when the record-breaking trend began.

The amount of background checks conducted in a single month is not a precise indicator of the number of guns sold because background checks are conducted on the buyer, rather than the number of guns purchased by the buyer. So the 24,767,514 background checks year-to-date–January 1 through November 30–may actually represent 49,535,028 guns sold (if every buyer purchased two guns). And if every buyer purchased three guns, that means nearly 75,000,000 guns were sold at retail January 1 through November 30 alone.

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


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