FBI firearm background checks for April surge amid spike in gun sales

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The number of background checks for firearms purchases conducted in April reached 2.9 million, according to the FBI, making it one of the highest months recorded in more than two decades.

Gun sales amid the coronavirus pandemic have sharply increased across the United States. In April, sales spiked by more than 70 percent than the previous year.

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More than 1.7 million firearms were purchased in April as concerns -- food and supply shortages -- related to the infectious disease continue. March saw a huge surge in gun sales with 2.5 million firearms sold, according to statistics.

"This shows us there is continued appetite among Americans to be able to provide for their own safety during times of uncertainty," said Mark Oliva, a spokesperson for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, which represents gunmakers. "These are buyers who have witnessed their governments empty prisons... Police departments are stretched beyond capacity in many cases. Law-abiding Americans recognize this and exercising their right to own a gun and defend themselves and their loved ones."

The FBI's background check figures serve as a key barometer on gun sales.

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Many buyers began purchasing firearms over fears of the pandemic, stay-at-home orders and other tight government restrictions. Gun purchases tend to swing upward during times of emergency, according to a New York Times report.

Fox Business' Stephanie Pagones contributed to this report.