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Record number of background checks requested by Oklahoma gun store owners in 2012

The 367,976 criminal background checks requested by Oklahoma gun store owners seeking to sell firearms in 2012 are the most in state history.
by Andrew Knittle Modified: January 26, 2013 at 6:15 pm •  Published: January 27, 2013

“The largest gun sales in the history of the industry are happening,” Miles Hall said at the time.

“With everything we're hearing, December's numbers will be off the charts.”

Possible explanations for the increase in criminal background checks and gun sales are plentiful.

In July, a graduate student armed with a rifle shot and killed 12 people during a midnight showing of “The Dark Knight Rises” in Colorado.

There was a presidential election in November and fringe hype about the end of days, which according to a supposed ancient prophecy was to happen Dec. 21.

But most gun store owners believe the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School had the most to do with the spike in sales, especially weapons like the AR-15 rifle.

Hall and Burger, whose stores are vastly different in size, both said that AR-15 rifles are extremely difficult to get from manufacturers. Locked and Loaded is a small-town gun shop, while H&H Shooting Sports Complex sprawls over 72,000 square feet in the heart of Oklahoma City.

Even individual sections of the guns — which can be mixed and matched with other parts to customize a weapon — are selling out.

“We sold completely out of all platform units that could be sold to the general public, as well as magazines and many other accessories for these firearms,” Hall said.

Hall said he sold 2,000 military-style rifles like the AR-15 in two days following the Dec. 14 shootings at Sandy Hook.

Burger said the wait time for new inventory is virtually unknown at this point.

“We've never seen anything like this before,” he said last week. “They are not even bothering to keep waiting lists right now.”

Contributing: Staff Writer Vallery Brown

by Andrew Knittle
Investigative Reporter
Andrew Knittle has covered state water issues, tribal concerns and major criminal proceedings during his career as an Oklahoma journalist. He has won reporting awards from the state's Associated Press bureau and prides himself on finding a real...
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