The Federal Bureau of Investigation processed a record number of background checks in the month of October, indicating that gun sales were at an all time high for the sixth month in a row.
The FBI’s National Instant Background Check System processed 1,976,759 firearms related checks in October. That is a 373,290 increase in checks over last year and a new record for the month. It also makes October the sixth consecutive month to see a record number of checks.
Since every purchase of a new gun in the United States requires a background check the metric is considered a reliable proxy for how many overall gun sales there have been, even though the number does not represent a one to one calculation for gun sales. The federal government and most states do not require background checks on gun sales made between private parties. Additionally, some states request FBI background checks on their citizens who apply for gun carry permits.
So far in 2015 the FBI has performed 17,584,346 firearms related checks. Currently, 2015 is on pace to beat 2013’s record 21,09,273 checks.
Gun rights activists have pointed to Democrats’ calls for new gun control measures as one reason why gun sales have increased. Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton has said that the Supreme Court is wrong on the Second Amendment, that Australian style mandatory gun buybacks should be considered in the United States, and that she would implement new gun control through executive action.