Experts: Gun control debate leading to more Hoosiers considering gun ownership

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WESTFIELD, Ind. – Hoosiers are lining up at gun stores at record levels, according to data released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Data released shows the federal agency processed 730,848 requests in Indiana for firearm background checks between January and April this year. That’s more than double the requests during the same time in 2015 when the FBI processed 302,672 requests.

“A lot of people are buying guns right now,” Tim Tomich said, president of Tim’s Shooting Academy in Westfield. “For the safety aspect, but they’re concerned something might change and they may not be able to do it.”

The trend, gun experts say, is mirrored nationwide given a heightened fear of violent crime and the focus of gun control in the presidential election.

“Hillary Clinton wants to take your guns away,” Donald Trump said at a recently rally, the presumptive GOP nominee. “She wants to abolish the second amendment.”

The battle has already played a key role in the primaries.

“I will take on the fight for common sense gun safety measure,” Clinton recently said.

Guy Relford, an attorney specializing in the second amendment, said more resources have been added both at the state and federal level to process the growing number of requests.

“I think the more we see attempts to limit access to guns by law-abiding gun owners, the more those law-abiding gun owners are gonna buy guns,” Relford said.

The number of firearm background checks in Indiana have continually increased the past decade. But the pace at which they’re being requested this year is unparalleled.

“I think the political election going on right now will have a huge influx,” Tomich said. “We’re already putting together our game plan for that.”

 

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