Background checks continue rise nationwide

Background checks for firearms transfers have continued an upward trend through February, according to official federal statistics released Wednesday.

The National Instant Criminal Background Check System — the department of the Federal Bureau of Investigation who by law run background checks on all potential firearm purchases from federally-licensed firearms dealers — released their numbers for February, showing a total of 2,613,074 checks having been performed over the course of 29 days.

This represents a rise of more than 65,000 addition background checks over January’s record-breaking 2,545,802, and nearly a million more than the previous February’s 1.9 million.

Additionally, so many background checks were processed the week of Feb. 8 through Feb. 14 that the week is now ranked seventh on the list of NICS top 10 highest weeks.

While last month most states saw a rise from the previous year’s numbers, with a decline from the previous month’s, February was more of a mixed bag.

Several states saw increases over January’s numbers, while others saw a decline. Almost every state saw an increase over the previous year’s numbers, however.

Only Louisiana had a slight decline of less than 1,000 performed checks from February 2015.

However, the numbers released by NICS also include background checks performed for concealed weapon permits, and so does not represent the full picture. The National Shooting Sports Foundation routinely adjusts the numbers by removing those checks coded for permits to better reflect the number of potential firearm purchases that have occurred.

In January, the NSSF adjusted the NICS numbers down by more than a million.