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Mainstream media reports…

Background checks for gun sales jump in Illinois

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP/Houston Chronicle) — Background checks for gun sales in Illinois have almost doubled since Friday’s school shootings in Connecticut, according to data from the Illinois State Police.

Gun sellers say some buyers appear concerned about self-defense, but many already own guns and appear to be adding to their collections amid talk of tougher restrictions on gun ownership. Semiautomatic rifles like the AR-15 used in the school shootings last week in Connecticut are generating much of the interest, sellers said. Those guns are being mentioned as the mostly likely target of tougher laws.

More than 12,500 background checks were done in Illinois between Friday, when 28 people were killed at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., and Tuesday, according to data provided to The Associated Press by state police. In comparison, 6,870 checks were done during the same time a year earlier.

The state’s Firearms Transfer Inquiry Program is processing about 2,500 requests a day, compared to about 1,370 a year ago.

“I’ve done almost seven to 10 times the business that I do in a normal day,” Kenny Polhamus, the owner of KAP Guns in Love’s Park, said as he helped customers Friday. “Everybody wants to get it before (potential toughening of gun laws) and they run up all the prices and they run out all the inventory.”

…The Connecticut shootings cut gun-rights advocates’ elation short. Gun purchases now are being driven by “feelings of anxiety, feelings of vulnerability,” said John Boch, president of the Champaign-based organization Guns Save Life. “Some people are probably worried that our illustrious president is going to try to pass some gun-control legislation, so they’re going to get their firearm ahead of.” [that.]

Boch believes the talk about restrictions will soon ease, and gun sales with it.

“All this is talk right now — it’s all fueled by hysteria,” he said. “When people calm down in the next week or two things are going to return to where they were before.”