(Reuters) – The number of FBI background checks required for Americans buying guns set a record in December, indicating that more people may purchase one after the Connecticut school massacre stirred interest in self-defense and prompted renewed talk of limits on firearms, according to FBI data.
The FBI said it recorded 2.78 million background checks during the month, surpassing the mark set in November of 2.01 million checks – about a 39 percent rise.
The latest monthly figure was up 49 percent over December 2011, when the FBI performed a then-record 1.86 million checks.
Consumer demand for guns appears to have accounted for the uptick in activity. There were no changes in FBI background check procedures that would have affected the December numbers, FBI spokesman Stephen Fischer said.
December is typically the busiest month of the year for checks, however, due in part to Christmas gift sales.
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