Gun Ho: Firearm Sales Rise In 48 States In First 11 Months Of 2012

By Gregory Gwyn-Williams, Jr. | December 10, 2012 | 10:08am EST

Background checks for individuals purchasing firearms have increased in 48 of the 50 states and in Washington, D.C. in 2012, according to data compiled by the FBI.

When comparing the total number of background checks completed from January through November of 2011 and 2012, all but two states saw increases in gun sales. Nationally, background checks are up 15 percent through the first 11 months of 2012.

Utah reported a decline of 80 percent, and Iowa, a decline of 22 percent.  The state of Wisconsin saw the largest year-to-year increase with sales jumping 62 percent.  Even in the nation's capital, a city known to be tough on guns, saw an increase of 44 percent.

Ironically, when comparing the number of background checks in November of last year to November of this year, firearm sales increased in every state but Wisconsin, with the Badger State reporting a decline of 39 percent.

Three of the top five states that saw the greatest increases in November sales were blue states - states that typically have stricter gun laws.

Massachusetts took the top slot with a 64 percent increase in background checks, followed by Rhode Island with 62 percent.  Arizona, a red state, saw a 55 percent increase, and Alaska and California both reported increases of 54 percent.

Each time an individual purchases a firearm, the gun dealer must call the FBI to complete an instant criminal background check.

As previously reported, guns were in such high demand on Black Friday of this year, the FBI's Instant Background Check center crashed twice while processing requests.

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