Background checks peak in week after Newtown, Conn. shooting

WASHINGTON (AP) — The FBI said today it conducted more background checks for firearms sales and permits to carry guns the week after the Newtown, Conn., shooting massacre that it has in any other one-week period since 1998.

The second-highest week for background checks came earlier this month as President Barack Obama announced sweeping plans to curb gun violence. The FBI started keeping track of federally mandated background checks in 1998.

The newly released FBI data confirms what many gun dealers around the country have said about sales going up after the deadly Connecticut shooting that left 27 dead, including 20 children, as gun enthusiasts braced for stricter controls.

The number of background checks does not represent the number of firearms purchased, but gun manufacturers use these statistics to measure the health of the gun industry in the U.S.

After the Dec. 14 shooting at a Newtown elementary school, the FBI conducted 953,613 background checks between Dec. 17 and Dec. 23. The highest number of background checks in a single day since 1998 was Dec. 21, just one week after a gunman shot and killed his mother at their Connecticut home using weapons his mother had legally purchased before he drove to the school and shot his way into the building. The second-highest day for background checks was Dec. 20.

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