Gun sale surge in Florida leads to delays in background checks

Gun sales are shooting to the moon during the pandemic. The gun surge is so massive in Florida that background checks are piling up.

These days gun shops, like Volusia Top Gun in Daytona Beach, have a lot of people just waiting.

"Not for sure but longer than normal. Maybe 45 minutes to an hour."

Joshua Moore is waiting for a background check to go through. He says wait times like this are unusual, and he would know. He’s bought guns before. He works for the Navy.

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"I know I have a top-secret security clearance and I know my background pretty well since I’ve been doing it for 20 years," said Moore, who lives in Ocala.

The holdup is due to gun sales surging in Florida.

"It went crazy first because of the COVID. Then, it went crazy because of the social unrest. And then that kind of took you right into election season, so it’s literally just never stopped," said Volusia Top Gun general manager Paul Jabaly.

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From a normal month to their busiest, Jabaly has seen gun sales triple at his store. He says the normal wait time for a background check is just a few minutes. Now, it could take up to three days. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is expecting to have the most background checks to go through this fiscal year than ever before, and that’s leading to more than $4 million in a projected deficit for processing all those checks.

"We don’t want to get a backlog of these folks who are looking for a concealed weapon permit," said State Senator Linda Stewart, D-Orlando.

The State Legislative Budget Commission is expected to approve $4.34 million in additional funding on Thursday with bipartisan support to keep things moving.

Tune in to FOX 35 Orlando for the latest Central Florida news.