ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — More Floridians are considering buying guns, according to state records that show a dramatic rise in the number of background checks its processed since the death of George Floyd in Minnesota.
The Tampa Bay Times reports that Florida has processed 30,657 background checks in the week after Floyd’s May 25 death, after a police officer pressed his knee against the black man’s neck.
The number of background checks was twice the number for the same period last year.
To purchase a gun in Florida, buyers must usually undergo a background check.
A week after Floyd’s death, June 1, the state processed 8,597 background checks that day, more than four times higher than the first Monday in June last year.
The store manager at Bill Jackson’s Shop for Adventure in Pinellas Park said many of those coming is are new customers. Mike Sfakianos said he’s seen surges before, but the volume of this “panic buy” is greater than any he’s seen.