Last month saw the most gun-related background checks run by the Federal Bureau of Investigation of any March on record, documents released by the agency on Tuesday show.
With 2,767,699 checks conducted by the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) in March 2018, the month beats the previous record of 2,523,265 set in March 2016 by 244,434 checks. That represents a 9.68 percent increase.
The March results put 2018 on pace to see more gun-related background checks than 2017, the second-best year on record, but still behind 2016, the best year on record.
The number of checks run through NICS in a month is considered one of the strongest indicators for how well gun sales are doing because each sale made by a federally licensed dealer, such as a gun store, is subject to a check. The state, however, is not an exact representation of gun sales due to a number of factors. For instance, the vast majority of states don’t require checks on the sale of used guns between private parties, some states use the checks in their process for issuing gun-carry permits, and sales of multiple guns during a single transaction by a dealer generally only requires a single background check.