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US Gun Sales Surge in 2015

FILE - Guns for sale are displayed in the Roseburg Gun Shop in Roseburg, Oregon, Oct. 3, 2015.
FILE - Guns for sale are displayed in the Roseburg Gun Shop in Roseburg, Oregon, Oct. 3, 2015.

Gun sales continued to surge in the U.S. in the 12 months before President Barack Obama announced his plan to reduce gun violence.

According to the FBI, 2015 saw more Americans buying guns than ever before, with background checks surging 10 percent to 23.1 million. It was the largest number since the bureau began keeping statistics in 1998.

The trend has been going on for some time.

According to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System, 185,345 requests for background checks were processed on November 27, the day after the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday, known as Black Friday, which is considered the biggest shopping day of the year. That was up 5 percent from the year before.

The FBI also said that Black Fridays from 2012 to 2014 also were among the bureau’s “top 10” days of most background checks. Since 1998, some 220 million firearms have been purchased.

In addition to the president’s call for more background checks, the massacre in San Bernardino, California, and the mass shooting at a Colorado Planned Parenthood facility fueled the desire for many Americans to purchase guns.

But the FBI warns that there is not necessarily a direct correlation between background checks and actual number of gun sales as some background checks are conducted for gun permits, not the sale of a weapon.

The National Rifle Association, which opposes the president’s proposals, has taken to social media saying that more background checks wouldn’t have stopped certain crimes and that most Americans don’t think gun control is an important issue.

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