Gun sales surged in December – Jan. 7, 2015


January 7, 2015: 3:24 PM ET

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FBI background checks, the most reliable measure of gun sales, surged in December, capping a year that experienced strong growth in the last three months.


Background checks totaled more than 2.3 million in December, according to the FBI, compared to about 2 million in the same period in 2013.



While sales increased nationwide, there were sporadic reports of a spurt in people buying guns after local incidents of violence.


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Gun shop owners in the St. Louis area, for instance, reported a spike in sales in the days following protests and rallies after a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri in August.


There was another wave of protests and riots in November after a grand jury declined to indict the officer, and gun shop owners again reported a spike in sales.


Background checks totaled more than 1.5 million in August, a considerable increase from about 1.4 million in the prior month.


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There was another pick up in October, to 1.6 million, and in November, to 1.8 million.


The December tally of 2.3 million, was bolstered in part by a strong holiday gun shopping season and a record Black Friday, when there was 175,000 background checks just on that one day.

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