“It’s coming back,” said Virginia Senator Joe Manchin Tuesday about his bipartisan bill to expand background checks on gun sales, a bill which failed to pass on its first run through the Senate last month. [more]
Background Checks on the Rise Amidst Re-elections and Increasing Crime
Firearm purchases and federal background checks through the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System continue to rise nationwide. Police agencies, shooting ranges, and firearm dealers report an increase in overall purchase and background checks due to increasing concern over rising crime rates as well as fear of President Obama’s tightening Gun laws.
Statistic show a rise in FBI NICs background checks, but a single background check may not indicate that an individual is purchasing a single firearm, and in some cases residents are purchasing whole arsenals. This number may not be an accurate indicator of how many gun purchases there are in total. In the previous year alone, 16.4 million gun background checks were conducted within the United States. For the first 3 months of this year, 4,855,085 background checks were conducted in the United States, and expected to reach about 19.4 million this year, the FBI said.
Aside from the increase in purchases, there has been an increase in awareness and frequent questions about gun transactions and transfers reported by officers. These inquiries are coming from people from different demographics, couples, individuals from all age groups, and different family members are now more aware and are trying to protect themselves by purchasing firearms because of fear driven by continued exposure to violence through different media sources. NRA spokesman Stephanie Samford said people are placing a higher premium on personal safety, especially with the economic downturn.
Nationally, guns and the right to bear arms has taken center stage recently due to different gun related crimes including the shooting death of an unarmed, black teen in Florida last month. Different gun advocates and organizations have also expressed their concern about the possible re-election of President Obama, worrying he will tighten gun laws, although he has said he wouldn’t take guns away from existing license holders.