May 5 (UPI) -- The FBI initiated nearly 3 million background checks related to firearms in April, down from 3.7 million in March, but still among the highest on record.
The federal agency initiated 2.9 million firearms background checks last month, according to FBI figures.
Though the number of checks was down from the prior month, it's still higher than the first two months of the year and one of the highest monthly totals the agency has recorded.
CNN reported that Illinois, Kentucky, Texas, Florida and California had the most background checks.
Gun sellers typically run checks on buyers and submit the information to the FBI to check that a criminal record does not bar the purchase.
Two million people in the United States bought firearms in March amid fear of the coronavirus pandemic, a New York Times analysis said. It was the highest monthly rate of gun sales since January 2013, following President Barack Obama's re-election and talk of possible new gun controls that arose after the shooting attack at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. Gun sales also spiked after the 2015 shooting attack in San Bernardino, Calif., when Obama sought stricter control of assault weapons.
Gun sellers were listed as "critical" infrastructure in March by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency amid shutdowns of businesses to curb the spread of the coronavirus.