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In record year for US gun sales, Utah background checks surge even more

Posted at 5:51 PM, Mar 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-17 19:51:45-04

SALT LAKE CITY — FOX 13 looked through FBI data on firearms sales background checks over the past year to see if Utah saw a surge in sales reflecting a widely-reported record-breaking year nationwide.

The answer? Yes, and a lot more.

The percentages in the graphic below reflect a per-capita comparison with Utah in orange and the nation in blue. Utah's 37 percent in 2020 means there were 37 background checks conducted for every 100 Utah residents.

As you can see that rate is three times higher than the national rate which itself is a record.

Per Capita Background Checks for Firearms

This following graph shows the other interesting finding.

Utah's previous record was set in 2011, with gun sales rivaling 2020. Looking back, 2011 was a big sales year nationally because of the Great Recession, but 2016 was the previous record-breaking year for national sales. That national spike was widely seen as based on fear of stricter laws if Hillary Clinton won the White House.

FBI Background Checks in Utah