Coronavirus News: Fears spark record number background checks for guns

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Fears about personal safety amid the Coronavirus pandemic have contributed to a record number of background checks required for gun sales in a single month, according to the FBI.

The National Instant Criminal Background Check System processed more than 3.7 million background checks in March, more than any other month since the program began in 1998.


Throughout the Tri-State Region tens of thousands of individuals rushed to gun stores causing long lines for fire arms and ammunition.

"I think people are generally scared for their well-being at this point," said Andrew Chernoff, owner of Coliseum Gun Traders in Uniondale, NY. "We're having problems getting enough guns in to sell."

In New York, background checks spiked 88% in March compared to February, with a total of 59,787 background checks.

In New Jersey, they increased 28% with a total of 10,922 background checks and in Connecticut 37% with a total of 23,103 background checks.

According to the FBI, the third week in March set a one-week record for background checks, with over a million checks performed nationwide that week alone, just as non-essential businesses were closing in response to government orders.
Other states around the country saw similar month over month spikes in background checks.

Florida jumped 65%, California 72% and Texas 92%.



In Arizona, Michigan, New Hampshire and Rhode Island, the number of background checks more than doubled.

The last time the nation saw a spike like this was in December 2015, during the 2016 presidential race when gun reform was a big topic.

The numbers speak to the fear among Americans about health and safety as the country and the world reaches uncharted territory with Coronavirus.

EMBED More News Videos

Fears about personal safety amid the Coronavirus pandemic have contributed to a record number of background checks required for gun sales in a single month, according to the FBI.



MORE CORONAVIRUS COVID-19 COVERAGE



Where are the testing centers
See how our communities are making a difference
Free educational resources for parents and children
How you can help victims of coronavirus



Coronavirus news and live updates in New York
Coronavirus news and live updates in New Jersey
Coronavirus news and live updates in Connecticut

New York City updates
Long Island updates



How coronavirus is leaving ghost towns in its path
Coronavirus prevention: how clean are your hands?
Social distancing: What is it and how does it stop the spread of coronavirus?
Coronavirus closures and cancelations
Coronavirus tips: What Americans need to know

Related Information
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on coronavirus
Copyright © 2020 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.