Unprecedented Demand: Americans Purchase a Gun Every 1.5 Seconds
February 6th, 2013
For the last two months Americans have been lining up in unprecedented numbers at gun shops and gun shows across the country. In fact, demand has been so massive that the FBI’s background check system in a number of states crashed as a result of being overwhelmed.
In January, some 2.4 million requests were sent to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), which ranks last month as the second busiest in U.S. history.
It was second only to the 2.7 million people who purchased guns in December 2012.
Even before the mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut last year, which prompted government officials on all levels to introduce legislation that would restrict access to semi-automatic personal defense rifles and other firearms deemed too dangerous for America’s streets, demand had been rising at a rapid pace.
In the last twelve months, over 20 million background checks have been performed by the FBI.
That amounts to a gun being purchased in America about every 1.5 seconds.
Considering that many states allow face-to-face sales and transfers of firearms without requiring a background check, we could easily be looking at 25 million or more guns having exchanged hands since this time last year.