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State

Ill. gun background checks jump

CHAMPAIGN (AP) — Background checks conducted ahead of gun sales in Illinois have almost doubled since Friday's school shootings in Connecticut.

Illinois State Police information provided to The Associated Press shows that 12,557 checks were conducted through the state's Firearms Transfer Inquiry Program between Friday and Tuesday. There were 6,870 checks during the same period a year earlier.

Gun sellers like John Thurman say guns are being bought for both protection and out of concern that further restrictions on firearm ownership are ahead after the shootings in Newtown, Conn., left 28 people dead. Thurman owns Bullet Express in Auburn in central Illinois.

Another factor possibly contributing to gun sales in Illinois is the Dec. 11 court decision striking down the state's ban on concealed weapons.

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