Gun sales hit record high in 2016
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Gun sales hit a record high in 2016, according to FBI data on background checks released on Wednesday.

The number of background checks conducted by the FBI, which correlates with approximate gun sales, soared to 27,538,673 — an increase of more than 4 million over 2015. The data doesn’t include many guns privately sold or given to friends and family members. The FBI data was first reported by The Washington Examiner.

The spike in gun sales came in a year dominated by rising fears of international terrorism and the potential for a Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonVideo of fake Trump shooting members of media shown at his Miami resort: report Ronan Farrow exposes how the media protect the powerful Kamala Harris to Trump Jr.: 'You wouldn't know a joke if one raised you' MORE presidency, which some feared would lead to tighter firearm regulations.

Clinton campaigned on strengthening firearms restrictions — a direct foil to President-elect Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpWHCA calls on Trump to denounce video depicting him shooting media outlets Video of fake Trump shooting members of media shown at his Miami resort: report Trump hits Fox News's Chris Wallace over Ukraine coverage MORE’s campaign message.

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A spate of international terrorist attacks also dominated headlines last year, most notably a deadly mass shooting at an Orlando, Fla. nightclub that left 49 people dead and another 53 wounded.

Gun sales also surged shortly after President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaEach of us has a role in preventing veteran suicide Why calls for impeachment have become commonplace Meet Trump's most trusted pollsters MORE’s election in 2008. But the increase pales in comparison to the surge in 2016. Since Obama took office, overall gun ownership in the U.S. has more than doubled.

Gun rights have been a hot-button issue throughout Obama’s two terms in the Oval Office, with many critics claiming that the president would clamp down on Second Amendment rights by restricting sales and levying tighter purchasing requirements. But the administration’s efforts to impose new restrictions ultimately did not match those fears.