NH News
1:49 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

N.H. Sets Record For Background Checks During Manchester Gun Show

The line outside the gun show in Manchester last weekend stretched all the way around the expo center.
Credit Ryan Lessard, NHPR

A large turnout to a gun show in Manchester last weekend led to the state setting another high for background checks for handgun sales in a single day.

New Hampshire State Police conducted 611 background checks for handgun sales on Saturday.

Sgt. Sean Haggerty says that’s the most ever for a single day in New Hampshire. Saturday was the first day of a weekend gun show in Manchester.

On Sunday, state police responded to 233 requests for background checks.

At the same gun show last year, there were only 283 background checks on the first day.

The state set its previous high a month ago. State police conducted 468 background checks on Dec. 15, the day after the school massacre in Newtown, Connecticut.

This past weekend’s spike follows a surge in gun sales in New Hampshire over the past year. State police conducted more than 7,000 background checks for handgun sales in December, the most ever in a single month.

Haggerty says it’s putting a strain on the permits and licensing department.

While background checks would usually take only a couple minutes, Haggerty says on Saturday, some took as long as two hours.

Haggerty estimates roughly 2 percent of the background checks lead to sales being denied.

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