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By Donald Lambro
Growth spikes are little more than trend-free anomalies
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - David Chipman
Federal gun-purchase background checks ticked up in October, but analysts say the surge in applications to buy guns, which peaked in the months after the Newtown school shootings in Connecticut, likely has leveled off.
Fifteen states have submitted fewer than 100 total mental health records to the federal government's instant check system, marking what gun control advocates said is a major flaw in the system.
After hitting an all-time high in December, background checks run through the FBI's national instant check system have declined year-over-year for the first time since October 2011 as fervor after December's Connecticut school shooting and the government's push for new gun controls appears to be waning.
Polling suggests many voters viewed last week's Senate gun votes through the lens of Second Amendment rights — findings that show why gun control advocates fell short in their bid to expand background checks on firearms sales despite overwhelming public support.
Gun rights groups have singled out President Obama for failing to prosecute gun crimes, but the drop in cases filed actually began a decade ago under the Bush administration.
Senate Democrats said Thursday they will take up gun control immediately after a two-week Easter vacation, and said the bill they'll bring to the chamber floor will include universal background checks for all firearms sales and a crackdown on gun trafficking and straw purchases.
All sides say they want better enforcement of current gun laws, but law enforcement officials are warning the budget cuts looming at the end of this week would be a major setback to those efforts — and could end up putting more guns in the hands of criminals.
President Obama has called for stricter federal gun laws to combat recent shooting rampages, but a review of recent state laws by The Washington Times shows no discernible correlation between stricter rules and lower gun-crime rates in the states.
"I know there was a period after Newtown when you couldn't go into a Wal-Mart and not be able to find an AR-15 variant," said David Chipman, a former agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. "People are opportunistic buyers — they bought them because they thought they were going to be banned."
"People are opportunistic buyers — they bought [an AR-15 variant] because they thought they were going to be banned," says David Chipman, a former ATF agent.