WKYT Interactive | Why Kentucky leads nation for firearm background checks

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - New federal statistics show so far this year the number of firearm background checks in Kentucky increased 13.8 percent compared to the same time period in 2017.

Kentucky leads the nation for the most firearm background checks, according to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System which is part of the FBI.

Even though Kentucky State Police continues to conduct automatic re-checks on those who already have concealed carry permits, the total number of background checks increased during the first four months of 2018.

"It's not uncommon for sales increases to occur because of things that occur either in crime statistics, political things that are going on or recent current events, such as these regrettable school shootings," Bud's Gun Shop director Doug Ramsey explains.

Ramsey says his store has received a lot of business through the first four months of 2018.

Former gang member turned gang intervention activist Logan Avritt has seen first hand how crime propels gun sales.

"Fear begets violence because the young kids, and older as well, are scared," Avritt said. "They are going and picking up guns because no one wants to be a victim."

Avritt believes the feat could be problematic if more guns are circulating the state and not locked up properly.

"The kids can't buy the guns. It's the adults that are going to buy the guns. It's the kids that are going to burglarize the house to get the guns," Avritt said.

While background checks and related purchases are on the rise, so are the number of stolen or lost firearms in Kentucky. There were 184 cases in 2015, and it has jumped to 1,081 in the most recent year.

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