Record High 300,000 Gun Sales Blocked by Background Checks in 2020

Hand gun with ammunition

The U.S. background check system prevented over 300,000 gun sales in 2020, a record high, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.

Background checks blocked almost double the number of sales in 2020 compared to the year before, with 42% of rejections due to felony convictions, according to FBI data obtained by the AP. The data also shows that the rate of barred would-be gun owners increased from 0.6% to 0.8% over the past two years.

The rate increase could be because a number of people buying guns for the first time did not realize they were unable to purchase a gun, Adam Winkler, a UCLA Law professor specializing in gun policy, told the AP. “Some may have a felony conviction on their record and not think about it,” he said.

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Minnesota Sees Boom in Gun Sales as New Regulations Loom

The FBI processed 55% more firearm background checks from Minnesota in January 2021 compared to the same month last year.

In the first month of 2020, the Federal Bureau of Investigation processed 56,561 background checks for gun sales through its National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) in Minnesota. In January 2021, that number jumped to 87,538 amid a record-breaking increase in gun-buying around the country.

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Remington Files for Bankruptcy Amid Nationwide Unrest, Surge in Gun Purchases

Remington Arms Co. filed for bankruptcy amid nationwide unrest and surging gun sales.

The firearm company filed for chapter 11 protection, or reorganization bankruptcy, for the second time since 2018, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday. Remington has been in business for over 200 years, according to its webpage.

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Background-Check Increase Suggests Spike in Tennessee Firearms Sales

The Tennessee background-check system for firearms has been backlogged because of a spike in requests from firearm dealers, suggesting an uptick in sales amid COVID-19 concerns.

Between March 12 and March 16, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation processed 14,657 background checks. In a comparable period from last month – Feb. 13 through Feb. 17  – TBI processed 7,901 checks.

Although the system only tracks background checks processed and not the total number of firearms sold, the increase suggests more firearms are being purchased.

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