Hillary Clinton lies constantly, apparently, but numbers don’t. While Clinton thinks that people who oppose gun control are in the minority, and that campaigning for gun control will help her win the presidency, FBI data suggest that she may want to give all of that a second thought.

According to the latest figures, there were 16,026,760 firearm-related background checks conducted by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) during the first seven months of 2016, an increase of nearly four million, or 33 percent, over the 12,067,075 checks conducted during the same period in 2015. Additionally:

  • There were 2,197,169 checks in July 2016, 37 percent more than in July 2015 and more, by an even greater margin, than in any July in previous years.
  • July and June 2016 had the 12th and 13th highest numbers, respectively, of monthly checks since NICS’ inception in November 1998. That’s a particularly notable fact, because the summer months usually have the fewest NICS checks during the year.
  • July 2016 was the 15th consecutive month in which the number of checks set a record for the month. That is, there were more checks in May 2015 than in any previous May, more in June 2015 than in any previous June, and so on, through July 2016.
  • At the present rate, there will be over 31 million checks in 2016, 800,000 more than in 2015 and more, by even greater margins, than in previous years. However, as people increasingly pay attention to this year’s presidential contest and Clinton’s stance on gun control, firearm acquisitions may increase at an even greater rate over the next several months.
  • The average monthly number of checks since President Obama came out for gun control in December 2012 has been over 1.9 million, a 51 percent increase over the average in the previous months of his presidency.

The number of NICS checks doesn’t indicate precisely how many firearms are transferred, but the increase in checks has been large enough, over a long enough period of time, that Clinton and other gun control supporters cannot honestly deny that gun ownership is expanding. We said “honestly.”


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