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FDLE Sees Spike in Background Checks After Shootings

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Update: In the wake of mass shootings in Paris and San Bernardino, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement processed 83,023 background checks during November, up from 72,908 the year before. That is the seventh highest number of background checks in one month since the Sandy Hook shooting in December 2012, during which the FDLE conducted a high of 131,103 background checks.

During the first weekend of December the call volume to the FDLE from licensed gun dealers
requesting background checks increased by 73 percent on Saturday and 88 percent on Sunday
compared to the same days last year. As of Dec. 6 of 2015 the department processed 772,582, the fourth largest amount requested in the past ten years. The department had to increase staffing levels and add phone lines to help process all the background checks as more and more Americans look to take arms as mass shootings continue to plague the U.S.

Original story: Local firearms dealers claim to have noticed a rise in year-over-year purchases after the November terrorist attacks in Paris.

Michelle Pickett, a gun dealer at Harry Beckwith Guns and Range in Micanopy, said she thinks more people who normally would not purchase firearms are coming in to get educated.

Brona, who is a friend of Michelle Pickett’s, was practicing shooting during a Ladies Concealed Weapons Permit Class or CWP at Harry Beckwith Guns and Range. Harry Beckwith Guns and Range is all about educating individuals on firearm safety and proper use.
Brona, a friend of Michelle Pickett, practices shooting during a Ladies Concealed Weapons Permit Class or CWP at Harry Beckwith Guns and Range. Harry Beckwith Guns and Range is all about educating individuals on firearm safety and proper use. Photo Courtesy Michelle Pickett/ Harry Beckwith Guns and Range.

November saw an increase in the number of gun background checks given in Florida compared to last year, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

There were 72,908 gun background checks conducted in November 2014. This past month, there were 79,943 — about a 9 percent bump.

Dr. Ernest Bordini, a psychologist at Clinical Psychology Associates of North Central Florida, said if someone feels threatened, he or she may be more likely to resort to using weapons or firearms for protection.

As of Nov. 30, there were 14,426 licensed firearm holders in Alachua County, according to Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Rachel Hill, a Florida Gun Supply employee in Inverness, said the shop has seen an increase in both people interested in purchasing guns, as well as proper firearms use.  Hill would not comment on the exact increase in numbers.

According to a map of all mass shootings in 2015 via shootingtracker.com data, there have been 355 mass shootings in the U.S. alone in 2015.

According to Politifact, as of March 2015 more than 1.3 million Floridians had a valid concealed weapons permit.

About Ariana Brasman

Ariana is a reporter for WUFT News and can be contacted by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.

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