Americans rushed to buy more guns after August shootings
Gun sales in the US soared in the month of August after a series of high-profile shootings in the country, FBI data shows.
The FBI posted 1.7 million background checks required of gun buyers at federally-licensed dealers. This is the highest number seen in any month of August since the checks began in 1998, according to a USA Today report published on Saturday.
The soaring statistics come hot on the heels of monthly records for months of June with 1.5 million and July with 1.6 million background checks, a period that marked a series of deadly gun attacks from Charleston to Roanoke.
It is worth noting that these numbers only concern the gun licenses and the real number of the guns is probably much higher.
The FBI does not record actual gun sales and multiple firearms can be included in a transaction by a single buyer. Nevertheless, the data by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System’s suggest that the market is booming.
In a similar response to mass shootings, American people rushed to buy guns following the 2012 Newtown, Connecticut Massacre, where 28 people were killed at an elementary school.
The shocking on-air murder of a reporter and cameraman in Virginia on August 26 was also known as a major contributing factor to the trend.
Patrick Hope, a Virginia state assemblyman who proposed an expansion of background checks following the murders, said the stockpiling of weapons represented an “over-reaction.”
Under President Barack Obama gun production in the United States has seen a 140 percent increase, reaching 10.8 million firearms in 2013, the most recent year for which data is available.
Each year, about 4.5 million firearms are sold in the country that generate a total income of 2 to 3 billion dollars for gun manufacturers.