Florida set a record in the number of gun purchases in 2012. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement ran more than 797 thousand background checks, and that is a thirty one percent increase from the year before.
The number of people seeking to buy guns is steadily increasing. From just under three hundred thousand in 2004, to just shy of eight hundred thousand in 2012.
Gun Dealer Stephen Shea has never seen anything like the last year. “It was a rush. A mad rush. It happened really quickly. I’m sure it’s not quite over yet, but you know it’s something I haven’t seen in my time”, says Shea.
The day after Thanksgiving is traditionally the busiest gun buying day in Florida, but this year it didn’t end there. Black Friday, the Friday after Thanksgiving, set a record for gun sales in Florida. Then that record was broken the Saturday after the Connecticut shootings and that record went on to be broken five more times before the end of the year.
Florida was just 22 hundred and 30 checks short of eight hundred thousand. That’s a 31 percent increase over last year.
When asked about reasons for this increase in gun purchases, Marion Hammer, Unified Sportsmen of Florida, says “Well it’s probably two reasons. Number one, people are afraid of gun bans. They are afraid of this administration and they want guns for protection. So those are the two driving forces I believe”.
December saw 131 thousand people purchasing guns. That’s a 77 percent increase from December 2011. ( December 2012: 131,103; December 2011: 73,825).