NICS background checks up 18% in June; Year to date sales up 24.5% over 2008

Data released by the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) show an 18.1 percent increase in background checks on the sale of firearms in June.

Background checks for the first six months of 2009 are up 24.5 percent over the same period in 2008.

FBI background checks are required under federal law for all individuals purchasing either newly manufactured or used firearms from federally licensed retailers. As such, the checks serve as a gauge of sales but do not reflect the actual number of firearms produced or sold.

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