For the first month since the November 2016 general election, the number of FBI gun background checks, considered a measure of firearm sales in the US, has increased. Background checks conducted in May have gone up each of the last seven years.
This year marks the highest number of FBI background checks ever conducted in the month of May since the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) began keeping records in 1998.
Prior to May, NICS statistics show background checks had decreased each month since the November election compared to the previous year.
While FBI says the number of gun background checks it conducts for arms sellers cannot be considered "a one-to-one correlation" with firearm purchases, the bureau's statistics are used as a proxy gauge for gun sales.
In 2016, the FBI conducted 27,538,673 background checks, an all-time single-year record. Five months into 2017, there have been 10,699,334 checks, a rate that indicates this year could eclipse last year's record.
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