The FBI conducted over 4.3 million firearm background checks last month, breaking the record for the highest number of checks made in a month in the agency’s history.
According to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), 4,317,804 background checks were conducted in January, kicking off 2021 with the highest number of checks ever performed in a single month since the FBI began recording the data in 1998.
The agency conducted 4,288,240 state-level background checks alone, with the remainder falling under federal-level checks, like those required for federal law enforcement, according to Small Arms Analytics and Forecasting Chief Economist Jurgen Brauer, Fox News reported.
While the number of background checks do suggest increased sales, they do not directly translate to the number of guns sold. For instance, one person can purchase several firearms based on a single background check.
Brauer said the FBI’s numbers indicate over 2.2 million firearms were sold in the first month this year, a 79 percent jump over the same period in 2020.
“January 2021 certainly started off with a sales ‘bang’ due to turmoil surrounding the confirmation and inauguration of Mr. Biden as the new U.S. President,” Brauer said in a press release.
While the difference year over year was high, the jump wasn’t uncommon, according to Brauer.
“[A]n even higher increase, of just over 100%, was experienced in January 2013, the month Mr. Obama’s second presidential term began,” he said.
Friday, January 15 was also among the Top 10 Highest Days in NICS Firearm Background Check history, taking ninth place with 183,264.
“It can’t be discounted that many of these background checks for the purchase of a firearm are attributed to threats by the Biden administration to enact the most radical and far-reaching gun control agenda ever proposed,” said Mark Oliva, director of public affairs for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, told Fox News. “Americans are continuing to purchase firearms at a blistering pace.”
Olivia said the number of background checks recorded by the FBI “clearly spell out that the demand of law-abiding Americans to purchase firearms isn’t abating. It is growing.”
“Taken into context that all but one of the top 10 weeks and four other top 10 single-day records occurred during the 2020, when 21 million background checks were conducted, these are a jaw-dropping [sic] figures to start the New Year,” Oliva continued. “Americans are claiming their Second Amendment rights to provide for their own safety in record numbers.”