Background checks for firearms in Connecticut have spiked more than 6,000 percent in the wake of the Newtown shooting. Gun control has been a national debate after the Newtown shooting and Connecticut has wasted no time making purchasing a gun stricter.
Connecticut’s new state laws make it mandatory that a background check precede any gun purchase, including private sales. The state police have been overwhelmed with background check requests now that every gun sale requires one. Connecticut State Police Col. Danny Stebbins said that a backlog in background check requests has exploded to more than 62,000, up from around 1,000 in December. This equates to an increase in requests of over 6,000 percent. “The numbers are way up. We didn’t see this coming and there was no way we could be prepared for it,” Stebbins said.
The new law is estimated to cost the state up to $17 million through fiscal year 2015. This includes $4 million for state police to carry out the background checks, permits, and the development of a gun offender registry.
After the shooting at the Newtown school and bombings at the Boston Marathon, there has been a rush to buy guns and ammunition. Not only are background check requests increasing, but so are gun and ammunition sales. Connecticut customers are seeing long lines at gun stores all over the state. The new laws also limit magazine capacity and expand the number of banned guns under the state’s assault weapons ban.