The first six months of 2017 witnessed the second largest number of firearm background checks ever recorded for the first half of a given year, according to the FBI.

According to FBI figures, there were 12,601,102 background checks performed January 1, 2017, through June 30, 2017. That is second only to the 13,829,491 conducted during the same time frame in 2016. It should be noted that 2016 turned into a record year for background checks, with 27,538,673 total checks.

2017 is on now within striking distance of the 2016 record.

Breitbart News reported that background checks ran at a record pace from May 2015 through November 2016, then dipped below record levels in December 2016. However, even with the dip, December 2016 had the third-highest number of background checks for any December ever. Moreover, by May 2017 background checks were shattering records again. There were more background checks in May 2017 than in any previous May on record.

June 2017 dipped below the record set in June 2016. There were 1,901,768 background checks in June 2017 versus 2,131,485 in June 2016, but June 2017 was still the second highest June on record.

Background checks are not a precise indicator of gun sales, because background checks are performed on the gun buyer rather the guns purchased. This means each background check could represent one gun sold, or it could represent three guns sold. Either way, it means Americans are buying guns and the Second Amendment is alive and well.

AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at awrhawkins@breitbart.com.

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