The U.S. federal police said it had made nearly 16.5 million of such instant checks, which are used to verify that a person wishing to purchase a weapon does not have a criminal record or is not affected by any restriction prohibiting such acquisition.
This figure, up 15% compared to 14.4 million transactions in 2010, is the highest since the introduction of the system in 1998 NICS (National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or National System for instant verification of criminal record).
The FBI noted that each audit did not lead to the purchase of a weapon, mainly because of the rejection of certain claims.
The spokesman Stephen Fisher, however, noted the existence of a correlation between audit and arms purchases. The increase in 2011 therefore shows that the trend towards the increase of arms purchases over the last years continues.
Fisher declined to analyze or comment on this trend, indicating that the FBI’s responsibility was limited to “operate and maintain the system NICS.”
According Arulanandam, the jump in sales since 2006 is mainly the result of the return to power of Democrats in recent years and fear that they impose restrictions on the possession of firearms.
According to FBI figures, sales of rifles and handguns, stable during the first half of the decade 2000-2010, began to increase in 2006 and almost doubled since then.
Kentucky, the 26th state for population, topped the number of queries to the NICS system in 2011, the FBI said.
While the state has only 4.3 million inhabitants, nearly 2.3 million applications have been made, or about one in seven compared to the entire United States.
Stephen Fisher, however, stressed that the figures were distorted by Kentucky that the state conducts a monthly automatic checks on persons licensed to carry a concealed weapon.
Texas, the second state by population, also ranks second in the number of controls, with 1.15 million queries in 2011.
Utah ranks third. State alone contributes to nearly a quarter of the increase between 2010 and 2011 because it attracts buyers of weapons across the country: the concealed carry permit there are less expensive, more readily available for non -residents and recognized by nearly forty states.
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