by Paul Bedard, Washington Secrets Columnist

Gun sales hit a new record in July, the 36th straight month of firearms purchases over 1 million.

In breaking the record, people delivered a strong message to liberal Democrats, who last week passed a ban on buying the nation’s most popular firearm, the modern sporting rifle, and other semi-automatic weapons and parts.

According to industry experts, sales in July topped 1.2 million. That means sales have hit 1 million or more each month for three consecutive years.

“That’s a tremendous milestone, especially taken in light of the actions of Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives last week,” said Mark Oliva, spokesman for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the industry trade group.

He added, “The House held committee hearings and passed legislation that would ban the most popular- selling centerfire rifle in America — the modern sporting rifle, along with some models of semi-automatic shotguns and handguns. They did this even after admitting they knew the legislation was unconstitutional and defied U.S. Supreme Court precedent. Law-abiding Americans also voted — over 1.2 million times last month and hundreds of millions of times over the last three years — to remind Congress that Second Amendment rights belong to the people.”

Liberals often refer to the rifles as “assault weapons,” a phrase banned by the Associated Press because it is inflammatory and not accurate.

Sales of firearms have been increasing due to crime, concerns of civil war sparked by racial division in some cities, and Democratic attacks on gun owners. The largest groups of new buyers have been women and black Americans, according to studies.

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NSSF said that sales reached 1,233,115, a number adjusted to weed out non-sale FBI background checks, including those needed to get a concealed carry permit.

The FBI recorded a total of 2,404,335 checks through its National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

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