Fancy ties, cologne or colorful sweaters were not the popular gift items under the Christmas tree this year according to law enforcement officials who say for many, guns topped the holiday wish list this season as compared to last.
According to the FBI, gun dealers requested more than 1.5 million background checks on buyers in December, the highest single-month figure surpassing the previous record set in November, where almost half a million checks were done in just the last six days before Christmas.
With just a few days left in December, the FBI recorded the number of background checks exceeded the previous one-month record, set in November, of 1,534,414 inquiries by gun dealers to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System also known as NICS, CNN reported, according to the New York Daily News.
On Dec. 23, there were 102,222 background checks, making it the second busiest single day for buying guns in history, according to NICS.
Why the sudden rush on guns?
Some reasons, police say, could be attributed to the waning economy, recent police layoffs and a rise in burglaries in some areas.
Yet another explanation others say, buyers are rushing to buy guns because they believe stricter firearm laws will be enforced sometime in the near future.
Just last year, New York Senator Charles Schumer (D) introduced the Fix Gun Checks Act of 2011, which is a proposal to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people by ensuring that all records are entered into background check databases, and by requiring a check for every gun purchase.
The legislation is currently pending in both chambers of Congress.
Gun proponents say the proposed gun act is too restrictive and unnecessary.
The National Rifle Association says people are concerned about self-defense now more than ever due to the declining number of police officers on the beat across the nation, pointing to the recession as the cause.