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Hundreds of thousands of background checks ran in Florida for gun sales
FLORIDA -- Since the beginning of the year, more than 800,000 background checks have been run on perspective gun buyers here in Florida.
Which is a new record for firearm purchases.
Jim Delprete was buying himself a Christmas present, his dream gun.
Jim Delprete Gun Owner
"Colt .45, lever action, I've always wanted a Henry rifle."
Once Jim's personal information was typed into the terminal and the dealer entered his license, the sale was approved in less than five minutes.
"This is the one I've been wanting for a long time and thank the good Lord above, today's the day."
Behind the terminal are more than 60 analysts. They search criminal records seven days a week. Jayme Chamberlain says the on line approval has made all the difference in the world.
Jayme Chamberlain Kevin's Guns and Sporting Goods
"Prior to that, we could be backed up maybe half an hour, 45 minutes on the phone."
Only once in the last ten years, at the height of the recession, have the number of background checks gone down.
So many people are buying guns the state is actually hiring more people to keep up with background checks.
Last week, The Florida Department of Law Enforcement got the okay to ask lawmakers for the authority to hire 18 more people.
Robin Sparkman FDLE
"We are only closed on Christmas day and New Year's day."
The background checks are paid for by a five dollar fee on each record search. Second Amendment supporters applaud the expansion.
Rep. Dennis Baxley R-Ocala
"The push at the National level for more gun control has awaken a lot of people. If they want to keep these rights alive, they need to act on them."
The state has been averaging just over twenty seven hundred background checks a day in December.