Coronavirus fears help push gun background checks to record levels in March

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There were roughly 3.7 million background checks performed by the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) last month, which is the highest number of one-month checks performed in the system's 21-year history. By comparison, there were about 2.8 million checks performed in February and about 2.6 million checks in March 2019, according to the FBI.

In February, the internet retailer ammo.com reported a 309% increase in revenue and a 222% jump in transactions. Gun stores, which have been declared an essential business by the federal government, have remained open and have seen a jump in customers in states across the country.

Kyleanne Hunter, vice president of programs for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said she's not surprised by the jump in gun sales, as similar jumps are seen during other major crises such as hurricanes or natural disasters. However, she said she was very concerned by the lack of response by federal and state leaders to push for more gun safety during these trying times.

 
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