Background checks for gun purchases top 1 million

152K more sought to buy gun in 2016 than 2015


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – For the first time, the State Department of Law Enforcement conducted more than 1 million background checks on people seeking to buy a gun.

The year 2016 also saw the biggest year-to-year jump in the number of people seeking to buy a gun.

State records show nearly 1.4 million people had their backgrounds checked to buy a gun last year. It is the first time the number passed the 1 million mark.

"(The gun business is) pretty good. It’s doing real well,” Gun Sales manager Brandon Long said.

In 2016, 152,000 more people sought to buy a gun than in the previous year, setting a year-to-year record.

Not everybody who goes through a background check gets a gun. Rejections run about 1 percent.

Last year, 13,603 people did not pass the background check and subsequently were refused the right to purchase a gun in Florida.

The inauguration of a new president is expected to take some of the heat out of the retail gun market.

“Together we will defeat the rigged system,” President-elect Donald Trump said.

One dealer told News4Jax that everyone who is afraid of the government coming for their guns already have all they need.

Stephen, who asked not to be identified by his last name, is a case in point. He’s trading rather than adding a gun.

“(I'm) trying to upgrade what I have, because I’m not accurate with it, so why have a gun if you are not accurate with it?" he said.

Long said he is expecting a shift in the types of guns he’s selling.

“We just don’t see as much of the freak-out buying, you know, people prepper buying and stuff like that," Long said. "You see sales in other places -- hunting guns and handguns."

Passing a background check does not guarantee that a gun was actually sold, nor does it mean the buyer purchased just one weapon.