• U.S.

Gun Background Checks in February Were the 3rd Highest Ever

1 minute read

February was one of the biggest months on record for gun background checks, according to new FBI data.

The number of background checks conducted by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System on people trying to purchase a firearm hit 2.6 million in February, down from a high of 3.3 million in December 2015, according to the FBI.

February’s background check total was the third largest in history, also falling short of the 2.7 million conducted in December 2012 after the deadly mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

The FBI noted that the number of background checks does not directly correlate to the number of firearm sales.

The large number of background checks comes after a year of several high-profile mass shootings. Gun sales in America have historically spiked after a mass shooting, and there was a record number of firearm background checks conducted in 2015.

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Write to Katie Reilly at Katie.Reilly@time.com