The rising trend in firearms sales continued in April, marking the
sixth consecutive month of significant increases.
released by the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS)
reported 1,225,980 checks in April 2009. This figure is a 30.3 percent increase
from the 940,961 reported in April 2008.
background checks are required under federal law for all individuals purchasing
either new or used firearms from federally licensed retailers. The checks serve
as a gauge of actual sales but do not reflect the actual number of firearms
sold, since, following a background check, a customer may decide not to purchase
a firearm or may purchase more than one firearm.
increase follows a 29.2 percent gain in March and rises of 23 percent in
February, 28 percent in January, 24 percent in December and 42 percent in
November when a record 1,529,635 background checks were performed.
in NICS checks coincides with a rise
in excise taxes reported by firearms manufacturers, another indicator of