TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Gun background checks have spiked to record numbers in the past month amid concerns about safety during the coronavirus crisis.

FBI figures show that March had the most background checks since the system began in 1998.

Gun dealers say Americans concerned about their safety have fueled long lines and runs on firearms and ammunition.

Gun control advocates worry the surge will lead to greater gun violence, especially among first-time buyers who may not be able to get proper training.

The soaring numbers come amid debate in cities and states about whether gun shops should be considered essential businesses that can remain open during stay-at-home orders meant to reduce the spread of the virus.

Latest Coronavirus News | Coronavirus Resources

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)