- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 3, 2016

February was the third-biggest month in history for gun background checks in the U.S., according to data released Wednesday by the FBI.

Background checks rose to 2.6 million in February, according to the bureau. However, the number of guns sold could be much larger, because a person can purchase multiple guns after going through a background screening.

February’s total falls short of the record set in December 2015, when 3.3 million background checks were conducted.

The second-biggest month was December 2012, just after the Sandy Hook shootings that killed 26. The FBI logged 2.8 million background checks that month.

Background checks, which are conducted by the National Instant Criminal Background Check Systems, typically spike after mass shootings, CNN reported. It is believed this is because gun buyers fear for their safety and are worried the crimes might prompt the government to invoke stricter gun control laws.

Two mass shootings in February that gained national media attention, one at a lawnmower factory in Kansas and another allegedly involving an Uber driver in Michigan.

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