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With One Month Left To Report, U.S. Has Already Set Annual Firearm Background Checks Record

With One Month Left To Report, U.S. Has Already Set Annual Firearm Background Checks Record

The United States has already set a single-year record in 2016 for firearm background checks, despite one month's data still left to report.

The firearm Background checks data is released by the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System, which is followed in the United States to determine if the prospective buyer qualifies for buying a firearm or explosives.

Without December's report, the number of checks is at 24,767,514, higher than any annual total since the record-keeping began. Last year, the annual checks totaled 23,141,970.


An FBI spokesperson told Benzinga that the December data is expected on January 3, due to the New Year's holiday being observed on January 2.

Meanwhile, since the records began, December has historically been the highest month for background checks each year. In fact, the December figure is on average 44.86 percent higher than the annual average going back to 1999 (the first full year of this stat). In December 2015, a record 3.3 million checks were processed.

Gun stocks typically edge up on higher checks numbers, which in turn suggests strong demand for firearms. After the release of December 2015 NICS data, shares of Sturm Ruger & Company Inc (NYSE: RGR) rose as much as 10 percent, while Smith & Wesson Holding Corp (NASDAQ: SWHC) climbed as much as 18 percent.

At last check, shares of Sturm Ruger had fallen 1.39 percent to $53.10 and Smith & Wesson had also slipped 1.28 percent to $21.28.

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