The FBI says October was a record-breaking month for gun background checks. What’s more, it projects 2015 will set a new record for number of background check processed nationwide.
Working with the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, the FBI processed nearly 2 million background checks in October. This is a 23 percent increase from October 2014, Quartz reports.
So far, 2015 has seen 18 million background checks processed, setting it on pace to become the new record-holder, WSAV reports.
The FBI notes that the number of processed background checks does not reflect the full number of gun purchases. The number of firearms sold in 2015 is likely much higher.
While gun sellers are required by law to run background checks on firearm buyers, loopholes in some states mean this isn't always necessary, including at gun shows, according to Quartz.
The high volume of gun purchases can be attributed to the current political climate, where gun control has been a much-discussed topic among Democratic lawmakers after a series of high-profile mass shootings.
Throughout President Barack Obama’s two terms, gun sales have gone up whenever he has openly called for tougher gun control, Fortune reports.
Pitbull Stun Guns employee Bob Leckbee told Georgia-based WSAV that the rising purchases of firearms can also be attributed to a perceived increase in crime across the country.
“I live in a small town of around 1,200,” Leckbee. “Just in the last five years we have seen our fair share of change, drugs, crime. People are going to try to defend themselves.”
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has not been shy about her proposals to install tougher gun control if she is elected. She has blasted the National Rifle Association throughout her campaign and has proposed universal background checks and making it possible to sue gun manufacturers for gun violence, Time reports.
“We need to close the loopholes and support universal background checks,” Clinton said, according to Time. “How many people have to die before we actually act?"