South Carolina Set Record in December for Gun Purchases, Permits

February 2, 2016

A record 50,000 South Carolinians sought to either buy guns or carry concealed weapons during December.

The statistics came from the FBI criminal background check system, The Post and Courier of Charleston reported. The spike came when President Barack Obama indicated he would seek to tighten gun control measures this year.

It was the busiest month ever in South Carolina.

The year 2015 was second only to 2013 when sales spiked after some worried there would be more restrictions on gun purchases following the shootings at Connecticut’s Sandy Hook Elementary School.

The government has kept tabs on the number of times the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS, has been used. Last year, there were a total of 327,000 checks. In 2013, there were a total of 335,000 checks.

Neil Schacte, the owner of Carolina Rod & Gun, said sales begin to spike at his store every time politicians discuss gun control. “People respond with a knee-jerk reaction when politicians start talking about strict controls because they never know what that’s going to involve,” he said.

Merrill Chapman, president of the local chapter of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, cautioned against the recent spike in gun sales.

“I’m fearful that people aren’t hearing the right message,” she said. “They think the government is going to come take their guns, but more guns in the hands of more people promises more violence.”

The 50,000 figure for December does not indicate the exact number of guns sold. Some people’s requests are refused while some people buy more than one gun.

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