Background checks for gun sales spiked 11 percent last month compared with last year, making it the busiest June ever, FBI data show.
The Firearm Background Checks report
showed the FBI conducted nearly 1.53 million such checks – required for all in-store purchases, but not for sales at gun shows or between individuals.
In June 2014, the number of background checks was 1.38 million.
This year's June figure was the highest volume of checks for any June since 1999, when the FBI started keeping track.
The data also shows background checks climbing annually, with the exception of three years – in 2000, 2002 and 2014.
Michael Bazinet, spokesman for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a gun industry group, tells CNN
the increase has been fueled in part by the increase in the number of women and first-time gun owners in the market.
Mass shootings are also seen as catalysts for sales spikes, CNN notes; background checks for gun sales went up to 2.78 million in December 2012, the month of the Sandy Hook school massacre, from 1.86 million in December 2011.
CNN reports experts don't believe there's any connection, however, to the record number of background checks in June and the slayings of nine black parishioners in a Charleston, S.C., church, which caused President Barack Obama to push for more gun control laws.
May 2015 was also a record month for background checks year-over-year, from 1.49 million in May 2014 to 1.58 million this year.
"There was a real public dialogue about gun control" after some shootings, Urban Institute criminologist Sam Bieler tells CNN. Now, he says, "the focus has been on the Confederate flag
rather than on new firearm regulation."
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