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Arizona Handgun Sales Skyrocket Following Giffords Shooting

The FBI says background checks for handgun sales jumped in Arizona following the shootings in Tucson.

There were 263 background checks in Arizona on Monday, up from 164 for the same day a year ago.

The bureau’s figures show big increases in some other states as well. For example, in Ohio handgun background checks went up from 240 on Jan. 10, 2010, to 395 on Monday.

At the same time, the number of background checks declined in some states. In Tennessee, they went down from 448 a year ago to 165 on Monday.

In releasing a state-by-state list, the FBI cautioned that the number of checks initiated through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System don’t reflect the number of handguns sold.

Just two days after a Glock-weilding gunman killed six at a Tucson shopping center, Greg Wolff, the owner of two Arizona gun shops reported the significant increase in business to Bloomberg.

“We’re at double our volume over what we usually do,” Wolff said Monday.

Gun dealers attribute rising sales to the growing debate over new state and federal gun restrictions in the time after the shooting, claiming individuals fear they won’t have as easy access to firearms in the future.

“When something like this happens people get worried that the government is going to ban stuff,” Wolff told Bloomberg.

One-day sales of handguns in Arizona jumped 60 percent to 263 on Jan. 10 compared with 164 the corresponding Monday a year ago, the second-biggest increase of any state in the country…

Handgun sales rose 65 percent to 395 in Ohio; 16 percent to 672 in California; 38 percent to 348 in Illinois; and 33 percent to 206 in New York, the FBI data show. Sales increased nationally about 5 percent, to 7,906 guns.

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