SHAWNEE, Kan. - It is difficult to track the exact number of guns bought and sold at any time in this country. However, every time someone legally buys one in a store, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) will run a background check on the gun buyer.
These numbers indicate that people in Kansas and Missouri continue to buy guns at a rapid pace.
In August, Becky Bieker opened She's a Pistol -- a gun store in Shawnee. As the name suggests, Bieker markets to women.
"We felt it was necessary to have a place that was welcoming and comfortable for a female buyer," Bieker said.
In the days following the Connecticut school tragedy, Bieker said she saw a lot of customers coming into the store.
In Kansas and Missouri, guns sales this year appear to be strong, according to the FBI's website . This year through the end of November, the number of NICS background checks done in Kansas registered at 175,427. That is higher than the numbers in 2009 (142,984), 2010 (144,156) and 2011(164,898).
The number trend is similar in Missouri with 432,060 background checks done through November 2012. This is more than each of the three previous years -- 2009: 355,678; 2010: 349,672; 2011: 394,923.
Now, as the national spotlight over gun control intensifies, Bieker expects to see even more customers coming into buy.
"I think it'll continue to cause an increase in sales of both fire arms and other methods of self-defense. I think people are realizing that they have to find ways to protect themselves," she said.
How do Kansas and Missouri gun sales compare to other states? In 2012, Kentucky has the highest number of background checks with 2,329,151. Hawaii has the lowest number with 15,414.