The month of May saw yet another gun-related background check record making it the 13th month to see an all time high.
The FBI completed a record 1,870,000 checks through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS, this May, according to an agency report. That’s almost 300,000 more checks than May of 2015, which set a record at the time.
It is also nearly a million more checks than May 2008.
May was also the first month in 2016 that did not break two million checks as the gun industry enters a seasonal lull in sales. The numbers remain on pace to set another yearly record, however.
The current yearly background check record, all-time monthly record, and all-time daily record were all set in 2015.
The number of NICS checks is considered a reliable indicator for how many gun sales have taken place in a given month because nearly all sales made through licensed dealers require one. Some states also require NICS checks on all private sales as well. However, NICS checks do not represent an exact count of gun sales.
“Based on varying state laws and purchase scenarios, a one-to-one correlation cannot be made between a firearm background check and a firearm sale,” the FBI noted in their report.
The streak of gun-related background checks have come during a renewed focus by Democratic leaders on gun control efforts. Both President Obama and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton have publicly expressed support for Australian-style gun confiscation measures. Clinton has also said the Supreme Court was wrong on Second Amendment gun rights protections.
Gun rights activists see a connection between the increased gun sales and calls by Democrats for new gun control.
“There is no doubt that the string of record monthly gun sales have been driven by the anti-rights agenda of the Obama Administration and the millions of dollars that Michael Bloomberg has spent assaulting the Second Amendment,” Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Second Amendment Foundation, said. “Now add to that the fact that Hillary Clinton has doubled down in attacking gun ownership in her White House campaign and it is no surprise that we continue to hit new gun sales records.”
“I predict that we will continue to hit new sales records as Americans vote to support Second Amendment rights right through Election Day.”