Handgun Background Checks Surge in 2012 - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Handgun Background Checks Surge in 2012

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Elk Mound (WQOW) - Background checks related to handgun purchases in Wisconsin hit record levels last year.  Numbers soared 55% over 2011, which matches a growing national trend reported by the FBI.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice had to add workers and shift more employees to its call centers to handle the close to 140,000 calls requesting background checks in 2012.

This doesn't include shotgun or rifle background checks, which are handled by the FBI.

Gun store owner Tom Gilbert of Elk Mound believes new laws and the political atmosphere surrounding guns the past few years has created a surge in sales, "Concealed carry drove the handgun sale dramatically.  Especially at the beginning of the year.  I'm going to say we sold more handguns in February this year than perhaps any month, ever."

Gilbert says in recent months he's seen gun buyers shift their sights to tactical rifles because the future of these weapons remains uncertain in Washington.

Wisconsin approved more than 149,000 concealed carry licenses in 2012.

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