In 2011, pistol permit background checks for May, June and July were at 1.23 million, 1.168 million and 1.157 million, the report said. This year during the same months, the number of checks has shot up to 1.316 million, 1.3 million, and 1.3 million, respectively. The highest number of background checks for pistol permits this year to date was in February at a whopping 1.7 million.
Instant Checkmate, a leading online criminal background check provider has also seen recent surges in their own sales.
"We've seen a dramatic increase in our criminal background checks lately, and we don't even provide background checks for the purpose of firearm distribution."
The spike in requests for pistol permits is not an accurate representation of just how many more guns have been or will be bought, as the permit allows the holder to own a handgun, but it does not specify how many he or she can own, said Montgomery County, New York Undersheriff Jefferey T. Smith.
"They could be putting four handguns on [the permit.] So, that's not a true indication of how many guns are sold," said Smith.
“Montgomery County pistol permit classes are filled up through the month of December.” he said.
The trend continues from coast to coast with California projecting legal gun sales to hit a record this year. The California Department of Justice is predicting 725,000 rifles, pistols, and shotguns will be legally bought in the state this year, which is roughly 100,000 more guns than were purchased in 2011. The increase in gun sales, when combined with recent legislation by some states to increase pre-sale background checks means firearm purchase background checks will continue to rise at record pace.
Director of Communications for the National Shooting Sports Foundation Bill Brassard Jr. said background checks for gun purchases shot up nearly 25.5 percent for this July compared to last year’s. According to the NSSF, July 2011 saw 680,258 checks, compared to July of this year’s 853,355, making July 2012 the 26th straight month that’s shown an increase when compared to the same month of the previous year.