Background checks for gun purchases fell last year after a record-breaking 2016, in what analysts are calling the official end of the Obama-era gun boom.
The National Instant Criminal Background Check System ran 25.2 million checks in 2017 — down from the all-time high of 27.5 million in 2016. The 2017 figure was still the second-highest on record but just the second drop in the past 14 years. The other drop came in 2014, as the post-Newtown buying spree receded.
Background checks don’t represent a correlation to gun sales but are used as a general approximation for the health of the market.
Gun dealers had been steeling for a potential dip after the election of Donald Trump, who proudly championed gun rights during his 2016 campaign against Democrat Hillary Clinton and touted the earliest-ever presidential endorsement from the National Rifle Association.
But pro-gun advocates say that all things considered, last year could have been worse.