The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) conducted more background checks last month than any other previous month since federal background checks became law in November of 1998.
According to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Firearm Background Check data, 3,314,594 people were given background checks for firearms during the month of December.
Since September, the Obama administration announced it would be issuing executive orders on gun policy. In December, it became clear President Obama would focus his executive orders on background checks involving private sellers and banning individuals on the terror watch list from purchasing a firearm.
Over 23 million background checks were done in 2015, the most ever conducted since federal background checks became mandatory. In fact, since President Obama started his first term in office, the yearly number of background checks increased by around nine million.
Obama met with Attorney General Loretta Lynch Monday to discuss the upcoming executive order he plans to issue. He announced on Monday that both Lynch and FBI director James Comey among others gave him a report tailored to his request on gun regulations and the executive orders on gun policy should be expected to roll out in the next few days.
“We have tens of thousands of people every single year who are killed by guns. We have suicides that are committed by firearms that far exceed other countries. We have a frequency of mass shootings that far exceed other countries in frequency,” Obama said during a news conference at the White House Monday.
“And though it is my strong belief for us to get our complete arms around the problem Congress needs to act. What I asked my team is to see what more we could do to strengthen our enforcement and prevent guns from falling into the wrong hands to make sure that criminals and people who are mentally unstable and those who could pose a danger to themselves and others are less likely to get a gun.”
Republicans on Capitol Hill responded to the president’s plan for further restrictions on firearms.
House Speaker [crscore]Paul Ryan[/crscore] said in a statement, “Ever since he was a candidate, President Obama’s dismissiveness toward Americans who value the Second Amendment has been well-documented. He acts as if the right to bear arms is something to be tolerated, when in truth – as the Supreme Court reaffirmed in 2008 – it is fundamental. The same goes for the Constitution and its limits on executive power.”