Background checks for gun sales are smashing records again. Data issued by the fbi last Wednesday shows that the month of December recorded far more background checks than any other since the agency’s National Instant Check System was established in 1998. In 2012, gun checks shot up by 19 percent from the previous record in 2011 to 19.6 million. The figures for December 2012 rose by 39 percent from November’s record to 2.8 million. For December, this means that there were an astounding 776,846 more background checks conducted than in November.
The statistics do not indicate the number of firearms sold—the government does not keep track of that. They only show the number of background check transactions on legal purchases from licensed vendors. Since 1998, over 160 million background checks have been made. Approximately 0.006 percent of attempted purchases were turned down.