The Federal Bureau of Investigation tracks gun sales and publishes a list of how many are handled as part of its National Instant Criminal Background Check System. Each month, the figures are reported by state. Nearly everyone put through this system qualifies as a buyer. People who are excluded usually have criminal records. Of the more than 400,540,500 checks that have been done since November 1998, there have only been 4 million denials. Therefore, the data is the best proxy for U.S. gun sales available.
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