A total of 1,992,219 background checks were processed through the bureau’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System for the month of September, higher than the 1,795,102 conducted in September 2015.
The number of checks run through the FBI’s NICS system is a reliable indicator of how firearm sales are trending, though there is no precise correlation between the number of checks and the number of guns being sold. Licensed dealers are required to run a check in the database every time they make a sale, but sometimes turn buyers down.
Republican lawmaker taking on the FBI to protect your gun rights
The FBI is using an administrative function to circumvent Congress, curtail the Second Amendment and impede Americans’ right to due process, according to a Midwestern lawmaker who has proposed legislation to end the practice.
“[The bill] requires them to give citizens who have been denied the right to purchase a firearm a reason, and it gives them an appeals process, so they can actually clear their name and exercise their Second Amendment rights,” Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn., told the Washington Examiner.
Emmer in April proposed the Firearm Due Process Protection Act, which would define how the FBI is required to treat consumers who fail the National Instant Criminal Background Check System and are consequently denied the right to purchase a firearm.
Sales have surged in the wake of ammunition shortages and fears that the Obama administration may seek to restrict Second Amendment rights in the president’s waning days in office. Experts say the equipment being sold indicates interest has spiked out of growing interest in self-defense and hunting.
“Sales of handguns and AR’s have been very strong for the past two months. Hunting rifles have been about average for this time of year,” Scott Blick, a managing partner at Ammunition Depot, told the Washington Examiner. “Ammunition sales are definitely following that pattern with sales of 9mm ammo and .223 ammo being extremely strong.”
A year-over-year record has been set every month since May 2015. The September figure brings the total for the first nine months of the year to 19,872,694, and puts this year on easily track to break last year’s 12-month record, when 23,141,970 sought to purchase firearms.
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