HUNTSVILLE, Ala.(WHNT)-New numbers show that gun sellers in Alabama finished 2013 with a bang.
The FBI says this past December and November were the second and third busiest months ever for the Bureau's background check system that covers our state. More than 130,000 background checks were performed in Alabama in just those two months alone, creating a surge that mirrored a similar spike right before and after the 2012 presidential election.
But while many states saw their gun run end at some point in 2013, Alabama's appetite for firepower only grew stronger. Firearm manufacturers and sellers said the latest rush is linked to both Alabama's traditionally gun-friendly culture, and continued fears of another gun control push from President Obama, who was unable to get his background check bill through the Senate last year.
"I just attribute it to being the Deep South, they're not going to give up their gun rights," said Glendora Taylor, who manages Last Resort Guns in Madison. "A lot of people got scared and they decided it was time to exercise their rights...What we've seen a lot is the new shooter. We've had a lot of families come in, teaching their children, so a lot of youth, and also women. We have a lot of women's groups that have been doing events with us."
Gun owners we talked to also cited potentially stricter gun control laws as a reason for recent purchases. Robby Brownfield said he bought his latest weapon in December.
"I think a lot of people are worried about their constitutional rights to be able to purchase and own and keep firearms."
According to the FBI, more than 500,000 background checks were run in Alabama last year. Maryland led the nation with a year-to-year jump of 69 percent, with many analysts citing that state's new and sweeping gun control bill as the primary factor for the spike.