Guns a popular Christmas gift in Idaho
Tina Jensen reports. Video by IdahoOnYourSide.comvideo
Idahoans looking to spend Christmas cash looked for clothing, electronics – and guns.
December was a huge month for gun sales in the state, based on FBI background check statistics and reports from gun dealers.
"We've seen a real increase in sales - especially before Christmas and just after Christmas. We had some record days,” said Alpha and Omega owner Roberta Regnier.
In Idaho, gun sales generally hold steady year-round and year-to-year.
But December showed a marked increase in background checks for firearms.
Last month, there were 13,338 background checks in Idaho – a 34% increase over December 2010.
There were similar spikes in sales nationally.
RK Gun Smithing instructor Mark Layman says numbers of background checks don't necessarily reflect gun sales, since anyone with a concealed weapons permit in Idaho does not have to go through the FBI background check.
"The numbers don't truly reflect number of guns were actually sold because you’re missing an entire segment of people across the country who were not figured into that number,” he said. “The actual sales figure’s going to be a lot higher."
It’s unclear what accounts for the boost in sales, though many speculate it has a lot to do with the economy.
"There are always motivators. The economy’s getting worse. People worried about their safety,” said Layman. “This is an election year – that will motivate people even more."