Final figures are in, and last year shattered the previous high-water mark for FBI NICS checks by nearly 4.4 million.
Although every time the FBI conducts a NICS check it doesn’t necessarily reflect a gun purchase at a firearm dealer, the numbers are a good relative gauge of sales during the respective reporting periods. The total number conducted during 2016 was 27,538,673, easily eclipsing the previous record in any single calendar year—set in 2015 at 23,141,970.
Every single month last year—with the exception of one—also set a new record for each respective reporting period. December’s total of 2,771,159 fell short of the background checks processed the year before, at 3,314,594 and 2012, which had a total of 2,783,765.