PA Gun Background Checks Almost Tripled Since Sandy Hook

Mourners gather at a memorial near Sandy Hook Elementary School a few days after 20 children and six adults were killed in a mass shooting in December. Photograph by Tom Kelly IV of the GunCrisis Reporting Project.

Mourners gather at a memorial near Sandy Hook Elementary School a few days after 20 children and six adults were killed in a mass shooting in December. Photograph by Tom Kelly IV of the GunCrisis Reporting Project.

Tara Murtha reports for Philadelphia Weekly on how gun sales in Pennsylvania are bucking a national trend:

According to records published by the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), 135,603 background checks for firearms purchases were conducted in Pennsylvania last month. That’s almost triple the number of previous years: 47,456 background checks were conducted in Pennsylvania in January 2012 and 49,123 in January 2011.

The startling increase — which began the month before, in December, when 133,241 checks were run — represents a post-Sandy Hook sales boom nationwide that one gun seller in Tennessee called a “banic,” meaning “people were panicked President Barack Obama would ban guns.”

Pennsylvania’s numbers, though, actually defy the national trend, which showed an average of a 10 percent drop between December and January — attributed to gun sellers in many states literally running out of guns because of the abrupt surge. Gun sellers in Pennsylvania, apparently, were better stocked than the American average.

Read the full post at Philadelphia Weekly: PA Gun Background Checks Almost Tripled Since Sandy Hook

Editor’s note: This is the third post in a collaboration between Philadelphia Weekly and the Gun Crisis Reporting Project.

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