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N.H. Sets Record For Background Checks During Manchester Gun Show

Ryan Lessard, NHPR

A large turnout to a gun show in Manchester last weekend led to the state setting another high for background checks for handgun sales in a single day.

New Hampshire State Police conducted 611 background checks for handgun sales on Saturday.

Sgt. Sean Haggerty says that’s the most ever for a single day in New Hampshire. Saturday was the first day of a weekend gun show in Manchester.

On Sunday, state police responded to 233 requests for background checks.

At the same gun show last year, there were only 283 background checks on the first day.

The state set its previous high a month ago. State police conducted 468 background checks on Dec. 15, the day after the school massacre in Newtown, Connecticut.

This past weekend’s spike follows a surge in gun sales in New Hampshire over the past year. State police conducted more than 7,000 background checks for handgun sales in December, the most ever in a single month.

Haggerty says it’s putting a strain on the permits and licensing department.

While background checks would usually take only a couple minutes, Haggerty says on Saturday, some took as long as two hours.

Haggerty estimates roughly 2 percent of the background checks lead to sales being denied.


Michael serves as NHPR's Program Director. Michael came to NHPR in 2012, working as the station's newscast producer/reporter. In 2015, he took on the role of Morning Edition producer. Michael worked for eight years at The Telegraph of Nashua, covering education and working as the metro editor.

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