It’s official: 2016 marked the biggest year for firearm background checks in history. According to FBI statistics released this week, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) recorded 27,538,673 background checks last year. That figure shattered the previous record of 23,141,970 set in 2015. The final numbers for December came in at more than 2.7 million—the first time in 20 months that a new monthly record wasn’t set.
Those statistics shouldn’t be surprising following an election year that featured one of the Second Amendment’s biggest opponents coupled with the rising threat of terrorism. It’s the latter that Justin Anderson of Hyatt Gun Store in Charlotte, N.C., says will continue to drive sales in 2017.
"While the election gave us some growth this year, we think the primary driver right now is that people are realizing just how vulnerable they are,” Anderson said. “We expect this record pace to continue … we expect great things in 2017.”