The FBI performed 2,523,265 firearms-related background checks between March 1 and March 31, according to the agency’s records. That’s a new record for the month. It’s nearly 35,000 more checks than the previous record set in March 2014.
Despite the new record, March saw the fewest checks of any month so far in 2016.
The March record is the eleventh straight monthly record for background checks. The unprecedented streak, which began in May 2015, has included all-time records for both monthly and yearly sales. With 7,682,141 checks processed through the FBI’s National Instant Background Check System, 2016 is currently on pace to set another all time yearly sales record.
FBI background checks are widely considered a reliable gauge for gun sales because all sales conducted through federally licensed firearms dealers must include one. Some states also require private sales between non-dealers to include a background check. However, many states do not.