Gun Background Checks Hit Record 3.3 Million in December, FBI Says

The number of gun checks was the highest on record.

FBI background checks, which are often used as an indicator of sales trends, hit a record of 3,314,594 in December 2015 and 23.1 million for the year. It was the first month with more than 3 million since the FBI began tracking the data in 1998.

The single highest day was Black Friday (Nov. 27), when the agency processed a record 185,345 firearms background checks, which was consistent with past holiday season spikes.

Annual background checks have steadily increased since Obama took office. There were around 9 million more background checks conducted in 2015 compared to 2009.

FBI National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) data does not represent the total number of firearms sold because people can purchase multiple guns with one background check and the data includes background checks for gun permits as well.

Obama announced yesterday that he issued executive actions including, calling on the ATF to clarify when gun sellers need to be licensed, instructing the attorney general to send a letter to States highlighting the importance of receiving complete criminal history records and requesting funding for more FBI and ATF agents.

The president’s actions were slammed as ineffective and distracting by Republican lawmakers and pro-gun lobbying groups.