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United States Guns Sales and Background Checks for 2012

 

Gun Sales

There is no record of the exact total guns that have been sold in the United States, but we can get an idea by the amount of background checks performed using the FBI Criminal Background Check System. The data shows the number of applications there are to buy firearms for each year, and it seems that this year we continue to see a continued increase in gun sales across the United States.

With a number of gun related tragedies and incidents just this year, it is no surprise that more and more people are purchasing firearms. The recent Connecticut Elementary School shooting and Aurora Cinema Massacre, being among the worst gun related murders in the US, there is also renewed interest in gun control laws across the country.

How the current system works is that when an individual wishes to purchase a firearm, the gun store calls in a background check request to the FBI or other affiliated agencies, and gets a reply on whether or not the customer is eligible to make the purchase, most are denied due to previous criminal records, mental health issues, and other factors.

The data below shows that there has been 16,808,538 applications in 2012 from January to November. Doing justice to the fact that the United States has the highest number of gun owners in the world.


Gun Sales 2012

If you are surprised by the numbers, keep in mind that not all of the applications are approved. Numerous factors are looked at before an approval, and being convicted of a crime in the last two years counts for 58.65% of the denials this year.

NICS applications by state
STATE
TOTAL APPLICATIONS NOV 1998 TO NOV 2012
 
TOTAL Jan to Nov 2012

 

2012 Rate per 1,000 population
SOURCE: FBI

These statistics represent the number of firearm background checks initiated through the NICS. They do not represent the number of firearms sold. Based on varying state laws and purchase scenarios, a one-to-one correlation cannot be made between a firearm background check and a firearm sale.
UNITED STATES 156577260 16808538 53.94
Alabama 3749099 350780 73.3
Alaska 714007 72904 102.09
Arizona 2675937 290868 45.35
Arkansas 2514731 207363 70.98
California 10714573 981798 26.29
Colorado 3736952 361385 71.59
Connecticut 1810014 208250 58.24
Delaware 256059 25098 27.89
District of Columbia 2170 398 0.66
Florida 5957840 699974 37.16
Georgia 4559627 386562 39.8
Guam 5934 819  
Hawaii 121737 15414 11.31
Idaho 1243607 115927 73.79
Illinois 8399271 923920 71.95
Indiana 3300627 404259 62.28
Iowa 1530528 128293 42.06
Kansas 1673605 175427 61.36
Kentucky 15118518 2329151 535.78
Louisiana 2987951 266593 58.65
Maine 790550 79418 59.83
Mariana Islands 296 5  
Maryland 1239350 117432 20.3
Massachusetts 1567707 185202 28.25
Michigan 4817185 370960 37.56
Minnesota 3516313 385075 72.51
Mississippi 2390007 180121 60.65
Missouri 3804462 432060 72.06
Montana 1253675 115893 116.95
Nebraska 742160 70454 38.5
Nevada 1076544 123943 45.83
New Hampshire 894061 108531 82.42
New Jersey 634408 75804 8.61
New Mexico 1338322 121882 59
New York 2849970 290299 14.97
North Carolina 4427820 415284 43.44
North Dakota 590720 73878 109.51
Ohio 4918014 526684 45.65
Oklahoma 2841850 307245 81.71
Oregon 2347894 222795 58.04
Pennsylvania 8156636 835293 65.68
Puerto Rico 115421 13772 3.7
Rhode Island 169915 20180 19.17
South Carolina 2320334 265276 57.21
South Dakota 744106 73658 90.2
Tennessee 4166503 432200 67.98
Texas 11724997 1196176 47.37
Utah 2967949 198091 71.37
Vermont 310812 29662 47.39
Virgin Islands 9320 370  
Virginia 3524638 371267 46.27
Washington 3631035 444762 65.96
West Virginia 2059912 191550 103.3
Wisconsin 2974560 413842 72.71
Wyoming 587027 53480 94.73
 

68,584,078 of the total applications since 1998 have been for ‘long guns’ such as rifles, usually a minimum length of 16 inches (40 cm) for rifle barrels – that is 43.8% of all applications. Kentucky has the highest rate of 2,329,151 and Texas comes in second with 1,196,176 applications.

 
 
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