2019 could set record for number of gun background checks

News13 Digital First

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – New numbers show 2019 is on track to bring the number of gun background checks to new heights.

The FBI reports 25,432,856 background checks so far in 2019. The prior record is from 2016, which saw 27,538,673 checks.

Although not a perfect metric, industry experts say background checks can be an effective tool to gage the rate of gun sales.

Grand Strand gun store workers say they’re having a busy year and are enjoying the impact of this national trend.

“We’ve been open for about five months now and we’ve steadily had a good bit of firearm sales throughout the week throughout the months,” General Manager of Cormac Arms and Outfitters Chuck Dunn said. “Better than we expected.”

Dunn explained background check rates can be useful in measuring sales, but the actual number of guns sold is likely much higher.

“There may be more gun sales- Concealed Weapon Permit holders that you’re not getting numbers on,” Dunn said. “Permit holders don’t require a background check because that’s already been done when they took the class.”

The increase in firearm sales comes as some lawmakers try to strengthen gun laws.

Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal, for instance, spoke on the Senate floor about gun violence last month following the school shooting in Santa Clarita, CA.

“We are complicit in these deaths if we fail to act,” Senator Blumenthal said. “It is not just a political responsibility, it is a moral imperative. And the unconscionable loss of life is our responsibility. This problem is one that we can solve.”

Dunn isn’t convinced the political climate is the biggest driver of the sales spike, though.

“It’s just you know people are exercising their right to own a firearm,” Dunn said. “Maybe due to the crime and violence they’re reading about figure maybe I should have some protection in the house.”

Cormac Arms and Outfitters also offers complimentary background checks for person-to-person transactions.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.