Background checks set 11th monthly record in a row, soar 36 percent in 2016

The FBI says it performed more than 2.5 million background checks in March, marking the 11th consecutive record-setting month for background checks — nearly 35,000 more checks than the previous record set in March 2014.

With March’s totals completing the first quarter of 2016, thus far this year the FBI says it has conducted 7.7 million background checks — a year-over-year increase of 36 percent compared with the first quarter of 2015. The FBI ran more than 23 million background checks in all of 2015, a record total.

Despite the new records, March represented the least number of background checks thus far in 2016. The record-setting streak, which began in May 2015, has included all-time records for both monthly and yearly sales. As of 2009, the number of guns in the U.S. has exceeded the country’s population, and the gap has been growing ever since.

In October 2015, according to, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms and Tobacco (BATFE) revealed firearms manufacturing had nearly doubled in the U.S. between 2009 and 2013, from 5.6 million to 10.9 million rifles, shotguns, handguns and other firearms. notes that shares of Sturm Ruger rose from about $6.50 to nearly $82 between January 2009 and January 2014. Smith & Wesson’s shares rose from less than $3 to about $15 in the same period. Handguns represent the largest portion of the current spike in firearms sales.

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Medical groups urge Congress to lift ‘Dickey Amendment’

A coalition of more than 140 medical groups formally submitted a letter to Congress on April 6, asking it to fund research on gun violence at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the first time since 1996.

The letter requests Congress “end the dramatic chilling effect of the current rider language restricting gun violence research and to fund this critical work.”

The 1996 Dickey amendment prohibits the CDC from using public funds to “advocate or promote gun control,” which the Republican-Controlled House has interpreted as a prohibition on almost all gun violence research at the organization.

The letter was signed by 141 organizations who said they represented more than 1 million health professionals nationwide, including the American Medical Association and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The groups requested funding for the CDC to be included in health and human services funding for the next fiscal year.

“The medical and public health communities continue to believe gun violence, which claims an average of 91 American lives daily, is a serious public health threat that must be handled with urgency,” said Dr Alice Chen, executive director of Doctors for America, in a statement. “Federal research has addressed many of our Nation’s most pressing public health challenges and it is time do the same with gun violence. Congress must lift the barrier to research that has persisted for nearly 20 years and fund the work that we need to save lives and prevent future tragedies.”

President Barack Obama has made three attempts to fund CDC studies on gun violence. In 2013, Obama issued a memorandum directing the agency to study “the causes of gun violence and the ways to prevent it” and in 2014 and 2015, he requested $10 million in his proposed budgets to fund the research. All three attempts were blocked by Congress.

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Proposed Minnesota bill outlaws ‘gun-replica phone cases’

A proposed Minnesota bill seeks to outlaw smartphone cases made to look like pistols or revolvers. If adopted by the state’s House and Senate, it would be the nation’s first law making it a crime to buy, possess, manufacture or sell “gun-replica phone cases.”

The proposed bill cleared its final review before the House Commerce and Regulatory Reform Committee on April 6.

“This is about the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen,” Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party Rep. Joe Atkins told Brian Bakst of the Associated Press about cell phone cases molded into handgun shapes. “If it wasn’t solely dumb it wouldn’t be so scary. But it’s also dangerous.”

“This cell phone case creates an utterly no-win situation for us,” Maplewood Police Chief Paul Schnell told the AP. “No win in the win in the interest of community safety. No win in the reduction of fear we hope to achieve and have in our communities. These no-wins are the best case scenarios.”

Rep. Bob Loonan (R-Shakopee), referred to a recently enacted state law allowing motorists to prove to police they are insured drivers by pulling up a policy card on a phone.

“That’s just gas on this fire that you have an officer pulling someone over, they want to see the proof of insurance and someone just pulls that phone out real quick, this is a bad situation and we need to deal with this,” Loonan said.

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Newtown teacher arrested for bringing gun to school

A teacher at Newtown Middle School in the same Connecticut town in which 26 people, including 20 children, were massacred in December 2012 in one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history, was arrested on April 6 after police say he brought a gun onto school grounds.

Jason M. Adams, who was carrying a concealed firearm for which he had a permit, was stopped inside the school by security officers before 9 a.m., and arrested for possession of a weapon on school grounds, a Class D felony, according to Connecticut law.

The Associated Press reported that Adams, who was released after processing, was placed on administrative leave. He will appear in court on April 20.

“This matter is very serious and troubling,” The Newtown School District said in a press release published by CNN. “The Newtown Police Department is confident that security precautions put in place prior to the incident were instrumental in the quick and appropriate response to the event.”

According to CNN, The Hartford Courant reported that the security officer at the middle school is a retired police officer. Newtown schools were actually closed on April 6 and Adams was on campus to attend a facility meeting.

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