Gun background checks surged 79% in July compared to last year amid national unrest, protests and rioting, according to data released Monday by the FBI.
The bureau ran more than 3.6 million checks through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) last month — a 79% increase compared to July 2019.
The 3.6 million figure is the third-highest monthly total ever recorded, behind the 3.9 million checks in June and the 3.7 million checks in March.
NICS checks aren’t a one-to-one correlation to gun sales, but they are used as a general approximation to gauge the health of the market.
Shops have reported an uptick in interest following the May 25 killing of George Floyd, a Black man, at the hands of a White Minneapolis police officer — an event that has triggered widespread protests and violent riots in recent months.
Even before then, checks had been up year-over-year in January, February, March and April amid uncertainty over the coronavirus pandemic.
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