U.S. Gun Purchases Continued to Rise in 2011

Yahoo Contributor Network

According to a January 4 Reuters article, the FBI is reporting a 15 percent increase in 2011 to the number of instant background checks performed on people wishing to purchase a gun. Here are the details.

* 16.5 million queries came in from firearms sellers last year in order to determine the eligibility of those wishing to buy guns, up 15 percent over 2010's 14.4 million background checks. However, the FBI states that not all of those checks resulted in a sale though it is an indication that gun sales are also increasing.

* National Rifle Association spokesman Andrew Arulanandam stated that there has been an increase in gun sales since 2006, due to the concern of a Democrat-controlled government and the potential of gun-control legislation, Reuters reported. FBI data shows a doubling in the number of U.S. rifle and handgun purchases since 2006.

* In 2011, Kentucky - which has a population of 4.3 million residents - became the state with the highest number of pre-purchase background checks. 2.3 million background checks were performed in that state, though the FBI warns that these numbers are distorted due to the state's law that requires a new background check every month on those permitted to carry concealed weapons.

* Texas ranked second in the number of background checks, with 1.15 million in 2011. Dallas Fort Worth's WFAA reported on January 2 that only about one percent of the buyers in that state were rejected in their attempt to buy a weapon. Dewayne Irwin, the president of Cheaper than Dirt! Outdoor Adventures in Fort Worth reported that his sales in December were up 8 percent over his previous best month, which was December of 2008, shortly after President Obama was elected.

* According to a January 2 report from USA Today, gun dealers in the nation submitted nearly a half a million requests for background checks in the six days before Christmas, 2011, with 20 percent of those occurring on December 23. The only day of the year featuring a higher number of gun-purchase background checks was Black Friday, the report stated.

* The owner of Legendary Guns in Phoenix, Arizona, reported a 25 percent increase in December's sales over December of 2010, USA Today reported. Similar increases were also reported in Ohio - with newly-eased conceal-and-carry laws - and in New Mexico.

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