TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Gun sales have dramatically increased in Florida in the wake of Sunday's mass shooting at an Orlando nightclub that left 49 people dead and dozens wounded.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement ran 9,854 background checks Sunday, Monday and Tuesday on people hoping to buy firearms, more than double the 4,468 during the same time frame in 2015. Another 3,956 background checks were conducted Wednesday, according to state numbers.
Also, gun ranges and businesses offering concealed-weapons classes said they are seeing a spike in business.
"Anytime there is a tragedy around the United States, where people perceive that had they been armed they could have made a difference, it increases our feeling of vulnerability," said Charlie Strickland, co-owner of the Talon Training Group gun range in Tallahassee. "In our country, you'll see a corresponding increase in the purchase of firearms and an increase in training."
Last year, more than 885,000 background checks were conducted for gun purchases in Florida, a record number. The state is on track to break that record in 2016, as month-to-month background check comparisons show an increase for every month when compared to the same time in 2015.