Fearful of ban, buyers swarm gun stores
'No organization publicly releases gun sales data. The only way to measure demand is by the number of background checks conducted when someone wants to buy a firearm. Those numbers are released by the FBI every month. Data for December is not out yet. But the Federal Bureau of Investigation says it did 16.8 million firearm background checks as of the end of November, up more than 2% from a year ago.
In November, it did more than 2 million, up from 1.5 million in November 2011.
The Colorado Bureau of Investigation, which handles background checks for the state, can't keep up with the number of requests. The bureau has pulled staff from other units and increased its hours, says spokesperson Susan Medina.
Many firearm dealers and manufacturers say President Obama's comments since the Newtown school shooting are driving demand.
James Zimmerman of SelwayArmory.com, a website that sells guns, ammunition and knives, says sales took off Dec. 19 after President Obama held a White House press conference announcing that Vice President Joe Biden would lead a team tasked with coming up with "concrete proposals" to curb gun violence.
That day, one customer ordered 32,000 rounds of ammunition from SelwayArmory.com, worth close to $18,000. The order had to be shipped from the company's Lolo, Mont., office to Kentucky on a truck.'