Gun Background Check Record: 2+ Million Checks Each Month of 2019

Air guns lie on display in the shop window of a hunting and weapons store on February 25, 2016 in Bremen, Germany.
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Over two million background checks for gun sales were conducted during each of the first six months of 2019.

This marks the first time over two million checks have been conducted during each of the first six months of a given year in the history of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

FBI figures show 2,165,094 background checks were performed in January, followed by 2,053,886 in February, and 2,644,851 in March. There were 2,334,249 checks in April, 2,349,309 in May, and 2,312,309 in June.

Background check numbers were over two million for each of the first five months of 2018, and each of the first four months of 2017 and 2016. Yet no year except 2019 has witnessed over two million each month for the first six months.

The number of background checks performed is not a precise indicator of the number of guns sold, and that is because the check is performed on the person rather than the gun. This means a person who passes a background check may purchase multiple guns during one trip to the gun store.

Moreover, some states perform background checks on concealed carry licensees, and those figures are contained in the overall numbers reported month-to-month by the FBI.

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at Sign up to get Down Range at


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