The U.S. government processed 27.5 million gun-related background checks in 2016, according to FBI data published this week. That marks a 20% increase compared to last year, and a 100% increase since 2008, the year Barack Obama was elected president.
The background check data, which is considered a reliable indicator of guns sales, suggest that more guns were sold during Obama’s eight years in office (157.2 million) than were sold in the previous ten years prior to his election.
Some observers have suggested President Obama is “the greatest gun salesman in history,” as fears of impending gun control measures have fueled the surge in gun purchases. Gun manufacturer stocks have enjoyed considerable success throughout the Obama administration, and enjoyed a significant bump in November 2012 following Obama’s reelection.
That said, gun sales have continued at a steady clip since the election of Donald Trump, whom the National Rifle Association has called “the most forceful Republican nominee for president in the last 100 years when it comes to not only gun ownership but the lawful use of guns for self-defense.”
The FBI data show that 2.7 million background checks were processed in December, making it the most active month for background checks in 2016, but down from the 3.3 million record in December 2015.
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