A record 3.9m firearm background checks were conducted in June, according to new FBI figures that underscore the sharp rise in US gun sales since the start of the coronavirus pandemic and civil unrest following the killing of George Floyd.
According to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System, the number of firearm background checks conducted last month in the US was 71 per cent higher compared with the same time last year. The monthly figures broke the previous record, which was set in March, when 3.7m checks were conducted.
The latest figures cover a period in which the number of coronavirus cases increased rapidly in many states across the American south and west, including Florida, Texas and Arizona. They also take into account the period of widespread antiracism protests and civil unrest after Floyd was killed in late May.
The FBI database does not convey the total guns sold, however, because background check laws and other rules surrounding firearm purchases vary from state to state. Not all gun buyers in the US are subject to background checks.
Data point to soaring US gun sales in June https://t.co/7qRsJ4upnr
— Financial Times (@FT) July 2, 2020