The Federal Bureau of Investigation performed 2.8 million background checks for potential gun owners in December 2012, a new record for the criminal investigation division.
The number of firearms taken home by owners was not revealed by the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System. It is also unclear how many buyers took home multiple guns after passing the FBI’s stringent background requirements.
The report also shows that more background checks are performed immediately following a tragic shooting, specifically the mass murder of 20 children and six adults in Newtown, Connecticut.
The full FBI report also reveals that more background checks for guns are handled in the holiday shopping months of November and December.
Not only did the FBI run 2.78 million background checks in December 2012, it also completed 19.5 million background checks in 2012, a new record and more than 3 million more background checks than the year prior.
The FBI background check is used by licensed firearms deals to determine if a potential buyer has a criminal record or a history of serious mental illness that would prohibit the buyer from legally obtaining a firearm.
The FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System does not include guns purchased through many gun shows sellers or through the sale of weapons through private sale, both of which are not required to use the system.
Following the Sandy Creek School shooting many opponents of gun sales began to demand harsher gun controls. Talk of further gun purchase restrictions likely led some potential gun owners to rush out to their nearest gun store in an attempt to purchase weapons before certain sales were possibly outlawed.