The record for a single year was set just last year, when the FBI reported that 14,409,616 background checks were requested. In 2011 that figure will top 16 million. FBI spokesman Steve Fischer said just 1.3% of background checks result in denial of a weapon.
With a week left in December, the FBI said the monthly record has already been broken, and that was only set last month when 1,534,414 background checks were requested from the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).
Two days before Christmas, NICS ran 102,222 background checks, which was the second-busiest day in history. The one-day record was set this year on Black Friday, the big shopping day following Thanksgiving, with 129,166 searches. By comparison, the previous one-day high was set November 28, 2008, when gun dealers made slightly less than 98,000 requests for background searches.
The NRA said more people are flocking to guns for self defense.