An all-time record number of firearm background checks were processed last year, according to FBI data. Gun sales were extremely high during the final three months of 2015, in the aftermath of deadly mass shootings and violent attacks in San Bernardino, California and Paris, France. In fact, December 2015 saw an all-time high of more than 3.3 million FBI background checks for gun purchases, shattering the previous high for a single month by more than half a million.
The recently revealed data has alarmed some supporters of tighter gun control laws, especially given the rising number of gun crimes being prosecuted in New Jersey and elsewhere in the nation.
The National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) is used to determine whether a person seeking to purchase a firearm is eligible to buy firearms in the U.S. The law was implemented as part of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, also known as the Brady Act. When someone goes to a gun shop or attempts to buy a gun from some other authorized seller of firearms, federal law dictates that they must first pass a background check.
NICS firearm background checks exceeded 23 million in 2015, which represented an increase of more than two million gun background checks in 2014. The trend was particularly alarming to some proponents of stricter gun control legislation because gun purchase background checks actually declined in 2014 for the first time in more than a decade. Now gun purchases appear to be on the upswing again.
Although the number of firearm background checks initiated through the NICS last year does not necessarily match the total number of firearms sold, the staggering number does suggest that more and more people are attempting to purchase guns in the U.S. Many experts believe that the record-high number of gun-related background checks in 2015 means that a record-high number of firearm sales were completed last year as well. Beyond that, the NICS background checks do not cover sales between private parties, so the actual number of gun sales figures to be very high.
For more information about the rising number of gun sales in the U.S., read the Washington Free Beacon article, “2015: The Year of the Gun.”
If you or a loved one has been charged with illegal handgun possession, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose or any other weapons offense in New Jersey, you need a strong criminal defense lawyer on your side. The experienced criminal defense attorneys at Lombardi and Lombardi, P.A. are prepared to fight your gun crime charges. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation about your case.