Background checks up for potential gun buyers

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The number of background checks for people trying to buy guns in Louisiana saw a dramatic increase in the last few months, higher than any other time in the last ten years.

In October the FBI ran 29,102 background checks compared to November, when 38,584 people tried to buy a gun from a licensed dealer.

The month of December sat a record for checks just after the Sandy Hook elementary shooting and nationwide calls for more gun control.

In December the FBI ran 59,697 checks and according to dealers, most of those were approved.

Wade Duty is one of the owners of Precision Firearms in Baton Rouge and he says he never seen this high of a number.

"Business volume has increased dramatically," Duty said.

"We're up 118 percent from last January, so we have a good comparison. The problem we've seen is because the demand is so high, when we call the FBI background check line, we've seen wait times 2 to 2 1/12 hours."

The numbers dropped off some in the first part of 2013. But even with the drop off, in Louisiana double the amount of people tried to buy guns last month than this time last year.

Dealers say it's been hard to keep guns on the shelf. The last time the numbers of background checks for people trying to buy firearms even came close to December 2013- was in November and December of 2008 as Barack Obama was closing in on the presidency.

Don Hogan runs Baton Rouge Police supply. He says he's never seen anything like this in his career as a gun dealer.

Hogan says while the numbers have been tough, background checks are good and that they help the system work.

"It's been very taxing on the employees," Hogan said.

"We have to be at a 100 percent every second of the day. I'm not sure if it will let up any time in the near future."

Click here to review FBI statistic from the last 10 years concerning background checks in Louisiana.

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