2019 gun sale background checks highest since system launch in 1998
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Firearm sale background checks performed by the FBI in 2019 reached its highest level on record since the system first began tracking numbers in 1998.

Overall, gun sale background checks topped 28,369,750, up 3 percent from the previous record set in 2016, according to data released by the FBI and first reported by the Washington Examiner.

The report found that December saw a notable increase in volume with 2,936,894 background checks performed, the second-highest month on record. 

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December's gun sales topped even the record set in the months ahead of the 2016 election when President TrumpDonald John TrumpLincoln Project ad dubs Jared Kushner the 'Secretary of Failure' Pence: Chief Justice Roberts 'has been a disappointment to conservatives' Twitter bans Trump campaign until it deletes tweet with COVID-19 misinformation MORE was still favored to lose to his opponent, Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonPence: Chief Justice Roberts 'has been a disappointment to conservatives' Top federal official says more details coming on foreign election interference The Hill's Campaign Report: COVID-19 puts conventions in flux  MORE (D), who is a vocal proponent of gun control measures.

“The firearms industry had reason to celebrate in 2019. NICS checks are now increasing," Larry Keane of the National Shooting Sports Foundation told the Examiner.

Justin Anderson, marketing director for a Charlotte gun manufacturer, told the Examiner that gun sales are driven by local efforts to restrict firearm sales.

“Politics have traditionally fueled industry growth, and this year’s historic NICS record is no different. Intelligent people are seeing the writing on the wall — whether it be Virginia’s test case for gun confiscation or threats of another world war on the horizon. They are arming themselves. Anti-gun politicians should take note. While an armed populace is a polite populace, they do not take well to threats to their freedom," Anderson said.