By Rosalie Chan
July 5, 2016

The FBI conducted more than 2.1 million background checks for gun purchases in June, an increase of 40 percent from 2015.

In June 2015, the FBI conducted about 1.5 million background checks, which is done every time someone tries to buy a gun from a federally licensed dealer. In total, the FBI conducted over 23 million background checks last year.

The spike comes after 49 people were killed in the June 12 shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, which resulted in calls for tighter gun control.

According to the FBI, 2016 is on track to break last year’s record for background checks. In the first half of this year, the FBI has already conducted almost 14 million background checks, CNN Money reported.

Mass shootings and acts of terrorism tend to spark increased gun sales because Americans fear for their safety and also because gun advocates worry that the mass shooting will initiate stricter gun control.

The mass shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, in December 2012, and San Bernardino in December 2015, also triggered a surge in background checks.

The number of background checks does not equate the number of guns sold, as some buyers fail background checks, and some background checks involve a single purchase of multiple guns. In addition, there are no FBI background checks for gun sales between private individuals where no federally licensed dealer is involved.

[CNN Money]

 

Write to Rosalie Chan at Rosalie.Chan@timeinc.com.

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