Daphne, AL — WKRG
Terrorism fears appear to be pushing more Americans to buy guns. FBI data show this was the busiest June ever for firearms dealers. Tom Hand continues to be busy–at his gun and pawn shop in Daphne.
“People are concerned with their own safety and are still interested in carrying guns for their own personal defense outside of their home,” said Tom Hand with Goldmine Pawn. The Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando last month marked the single largest mass shooting in American history. That helped make June the busiest June on record for gun dealers with background checks up nearly 40-percent compared to June 2015.
The nation is also on track to have another record-breaking year overall for gun sales. Background checks for the first half of the year are up by nearly a third compared to the first half of 2015. Curiously though Alabama was the only state showing a slight drop in gun sales in June compared to June of last year. Hand says the state could be reaching a saturation point.
“I’m not surprised it didn’t slow down some because once you’ve filled a gun vault up it’s hard to convince a customer to buy another in a short amount of time,” said Hand. Alabama’s drop in gun background checks and sales may be a fluke. The first two months of the year showed gains in background checks compared to January and February of last year. The previous four months of the year (March, April, May and June) showed reductions in the number of background checks. Overall, the gains in the first part of the year are more than enough to put Alabama in line with the trend in the rest of the country that is seeing an increase in gun sales for 2016.
Generally, gun sales go down this time of year, but 2016 is the first time background checks have gone up from May to June in a decade. The latest FBI data does not reflect how the recent terror attack in Nice and police shootings in Dallas and Baton Rouge affect gun sales. That should be out in the early part of August.