July was the 15 month in a row with a record number of background checks for gun purchases, according to data released by the FBI.
The agency's National Instant Criminal Background Check System processed 2,197,169 requests in July, about 66,000 more than in June and a 37 percent jump from July 2015, according to the Washington Examiner.
"These statistics represent the number of firearm background checks initiated through the NICS," according to a report from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. "They do not represent the number of firearms sold. Based on varying state laws and purchase scenarios, a one-to-one correlation cannot be made between a firearm background check and a firearm sale."
Gun manufacturer Smith & Wesson's share price increased to a record $30.59 on Monday, following the FBI's announcement. The stock reached its previous record of $29.37 last March. Sturm, Ruger, America's largest maker of firearms, rose to $69.40, The Guardian reports.
Gun advocates cite the recent high-profile mass shootings across the country and increased terrorist activity across the globe for the surge in demand for weapons, according to The Washington Free Beacon. Analysts have also pointed to new policy initiatives to limit gun rights in the wake of such tragedies as a spur to demand.
The affects of mass shootings and terrorist attacks on gun sales "is something we can't measure," Michael Fifer, Sturm, Ruger's chief executive, told the Guardian, adding that the Orlando, Florida, nightclub massacre in June "didn't appear to have a material impact on our distributors. They got some calls the next day, but it quickly died down."
A gun control initiative in California is gaining ground, based on financial backing, according to the Los Angeles Times, having raised $3.8 million in campaign support. The Safety for All Committee, led by Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, soundly beat the two opposing committees who only managed to raise $467,000.
Proposition 63, which Newsom's committee supports, would ban high-capacity ammunition magazines, mandate background checks for purchasing bullets, require lost or stolen guns be reported, and create a system for felons to voluntarily give up their guns.
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