The number of background checks for prospective gun sales the last five months has shattered all previous records.
Since May, the number of firearm background checks initiated through the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System have steadily increased:
- May: 1,580,980 (Previous record: 1,485,259 in 2014)
- June: 1,529,057 (Previous record: 1,382,975 in 2014)
- July: 1,600,832 (Previous record: 1,402,228 in 2014)
- August: 1,745,410 (Previous record: 1,546,497 in 2014)
- September: 1,795,102 (Previous record: 1,459,363 in 2012)
The total number of background checks for the year so far is 15,607,587. The record for a single year was set in 2013 with 21,093,273. If this year's checks continue apace, it will result in a new record of 21,324,137 background checks.
NICS was mandated by the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993, and launched in November of 1998. The number of background checks does not reflect the number of guns actually sold.
Some guns rights advocates suggest the surge in the number of background checks can be tied to Democratic efforts to enforce more stringent gun control.