The FBI publishes aggregated data from its National Instant Criminal Background Check System. Unfortunately, the agency only posts those records as PDFs, rather than structured data files.

The Data Liberation Project runs a open-source data pipeline that downloads the most detailed of these PDFs — containing monthly counts of firearm background checks run by month, state, and firearm type — and extracts their data.

The project was created by Jeremy Singer-Vine (now Data Liberation Project founder) while at BuzzFeed News in 2015. In 2023, BuzzFeed News shut down. In April 2024, the Data Liberation Project forked the original repository and resumed its operation.

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