The number of people attempting to buy firearms who aren’t legally permitted to own them soared in March, according to newly released data from the , prompting concerns from some gun safety advocates.

The data, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request filed by Everytown for Gun Safety and , showed a 147% increase in federal background checks that ended in denial in March compared to the same time last year.

This March, 23,692 federal background checks ended in denial ― more than the 8,249 denials the previous February and 9,558 denials the previous March combined.

The surge in denials comes amid gun retailers’ reports of record sales during the coronavirus crisis. The FBI processed over 1.4

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