Over 342 MILLION background checks since 1999. Not all new gun sales go through the FBI. Some states do it internally. Not all background checks involve the sale of a firearm. Some may represent the sale of more than one firearm. Not all firearm sales are of new firearms.
But I think The Narrative™ that there are only about 300 million firearms in private hands is well and truly busted, since as a nation we’ve been buying guns for 230+ years, not just the last 20.
And look at March, 2020. Largest number of background checks in a month, EVER. Closest previous record was December, 2015. What precipitated that again? We’ve had more background checks in the first three months of 2020 than in the entire YEAR for 1999 through 2005.
And all the guns that have been purchased? I don’t think the people who bought them did it with the intention that they’d give them up if asked nicely.