I think this sub-headline is telling:
Interest grew substantially after law reduced sheriffs’ ability to deny them
And from the article:
The number of Iowans seeking permits to carry handguns and other weapons has increased 170 percent during the first 11 months of 2011 — a trend one Iowa sheriff calls “unbelievable.”
During the first year in which a new law gave sheriffs less discretion over which residents can be denied permits, 94,516 Iowans sought and received non-professional weapons permits from January through November, the Iowa Department of Public Safety reports.
Data from the state’s three most populous counties show an even greater surge in weapons permits in key urban areas. In Polk, Linn and Scott counties, the number of permits issued thus far in 2011 is 271 percent higher than in 2010.
People don’t care much or trust government discretion, it seems.
Plus this–lot’s of people are buying guns. The past month was the busiest month on record:
With a few days left in December, the FBI reports the number of background checks has already topped the previous one-month record — set only in November — of 1,534,414 inquiries by gun dealers to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System also known as NICS. Almost half a million checks were done in just the last six days before Christmas.
Two days before Christmas, NICS ran 102,222 background checks, which was the second-busiest day in history. The one-day record was set this year on Black Friday, the big shopping day following Thanksgiving, with 129,166 searches. By comparison, the previous one-day high was set November 28, 2008, when gun dealers made slightly less than 98,000 requests for background searches.
It’s not possible to tell exactly how many guns have been purchased because buyers often take home more than one gun. But most people pass the background checks. Only 1.3% of the searches result in people being denied permission to buy a weapon, said FBI spokesman Steve Fischer.