An FBI report on the number of gun purchase background checks, January 1 through September 30, shows that Kentucky performed more than twice as many background checks in the first nine months of the year as California and Texas combined.
According to the FBI, Kentucky performed 2,337,494 background checks by the end of September, California performed 1,164,806, and Texas did 1,059,166. Even if you combine the background checks performed in California and Texas—a combined figure of 2,223,972—Kentucky beats that total by 113,522 background checks. This is quite a feat, considering the fact that Kentucky is much smaller geographically and population-wise than California or Texas, let alone compared to the two states combined.
The FBI report also reveals that Kentucky performed more background checks than California or Texas in 2014. Kentucky performed 2,492,184 background checks in 2014, while California performed 1,474,616, and Texas did 1,465,992.
In 2013, Texas bested Kentucky, but 2012 is another example of Kentucky performing more background checks than California and Texas combined. In 2012, Kentucky performed 2,589,358 background checks, while California and Texas combined for 2,568,735.
It should be noted that the number of background checks performed does not indicate the number of guns sold, because multiple guns can be purchased each time a buyer passes a background check. Therefore, in a year like 2012—when there were over 2.5 million background checks performed in Kentucky—the number of guns sold could have easily topped 5 million if every purchaser bought two guns. That figure would have topped 7.5 million if every purchaser bought three.
Either way, there are a lot of guns in Kentucky.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.