Gun sales in America continue to boom, with FBI data released this week showing that February was the third-biggest month ever for gun background checks under the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). In total, 2.6 million checks were recorded, falling short of the 3.3 million all-time record set last December.
December 2012 ranks as the second-biggest month, at 2.8 million. Typically, background checks rise after high-profile shootings that garner lots of media coverage, prompting concerns over safety as well as possible new, restrictive gun-control proposals.
The FBI conducts background checks using NICS each time a gun is purchased from a federally licensed dealer. The FBI started tracking in 1998, and last year set a new record for highest number of checks conducted in a single year.