At the end of December, the yearly total for checks on firearm purchases and License to Carry (LTC) applications in Texas tallied to 2.3 million — up from 1.5 million the year before.
While background checks are typically high in the month of December, the number of checks for LTC applications were especially high compared to last year.
206,000 total checks were conducted in the Lone Star State last month, with 49,000 accounting for LTC applications — nearly twice as high as the 25,000 out of 166,000 total in 2019.
The number of checks in the state is the third-highest for the month on record, behind 2015 and 2012, which both reached highs of around 240,000 checks.
Nationally, though, December 2020 set a new record for the number of NICS checks in a single month, 3.9 million.
The country also shot past the record annual total of 28.4 million conducted in 2019 with 39.7 million conducted in 2020.
Many factors played a role in the record number of gun sales and applications to carry last year, including the coronavirus pandemic, government lockdowns, employment downturn, violent protests, and the presidential election.
Moreover, regulations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic made it difficult for gun and ammunition manufacturers to keep up with the demand for their products.
As a result, shelves at gun stores rarely stayed stocked for long.
With gun owners likely to grow concerned about increased gun restrictions from the federal government in light of the Democrats’ wins in the Georgia U.S. Senate races combined with the civil unrest seen on display at the nation’s Capitol, the upward trend in gun buying does not appear to have an end in sight.
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Daniel Friend is the Marketing and Media Manager for The Texan. After graduating with a double-major in Political Science and Humanities, he wrote for The Texan as a reporter through June 2022. In his spare time, you're likely to find him working on The Testimony of Calvin Lewis, an Abolition of Man-inspired novel and theatrical podcast.