Background checks for firearms continued strong in May


Background checks for firearms continued strong in May, but at a slower pace than previous months, according to data from the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

The system shows background checks on the sale of firearms rose 16% in May when compared to May 2008. In May 2009, 1.0 million background checks were performed; in May 2008, 886,000. The increase follows a 30% rise in April and a 29% rise in March.

The unprecedented rise began in October and reached a record 1,529,635 requests for background checks in November, a 42% jump over the previous November.

Year-to-date 2009 background checks number 6.07 million, up 26% from 4.83 million year-to-date 2008.

FBI background checks are required under federal law for all individuals purchasing firearms from federally licensed retailers and are considered a strong indicator of actual sales by industry experts.


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