Recent data from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation shows a continuing climb in gun sales across the state. Since 2003, the number of firearms processed has more than doubled from 220,513 to 509,982. After dipping from 2003 to 2004, there has been a slow but consistent growth in both the number of firearms processed and the number of firearm transactions.
This data — collected between Jan. 1, 2000, through Dec. 31, 2012, and which can be seen here on an enlarged version of the chart above — includes only sales by licensed gun dealers in Tennessee. Sales conducted in secondary markets (gun shows, newspaper classifieds, online sales) are not factored into the data.
The “gun-show loophole” epitomizes the type of sale that the TBI cannot track. Also worth noting, the number of firearms processed from 2011 to 2012 is the largest year-to-year increase reflected in the data.
In addition to numbers specifically about firearms, the TBI also tracks sales denied to “wanted persons” during each calendar year. Since 2004 the number of “wanted persons identified” has risen from 171 to 469.