Background checks for gun purchases in New Mexico began surging amid the gun control talk that followed Sandy Hook, and the surge has yet to subside.
According Albuquerque’s KOAT 7, following Adam Lanza’s heinous crime at Sandy Hook Elementary and the gun control push which ensued, New Mexicans reacted “by flocking to gun stores.” The talk of banning certain guns especially drove up sales of “tactical rifles.”
Jordan Nightbert of Calibers gun store in Albuquerque said, “People had a little bit of a run on the market and they just wanted to get theirs before they were restricted or banned in any way. We definitely saw a spike in the sales… [of] tactical rifles like the AR-15 or the AK-47.”
This surge in sales can be seen by looking at yearly background check figures for New Mexico. In 2011 there were 115,000 background checks in the state. That rose to 143,000 in 2012 and then to 156,000 in 2013.
Background checks are on track to be at 2013 levels again this year, with 68,000 background checks recorded about halfway through 2014.
It is important to note that background checks for gun purchasers are not an exact indicator of how many guns are being purchased, because a person who passes a background check may purchase multiple guns at once. So a year with 156,000 background checks could be a year in which two or three times that number of guns were sold.
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