Texas leading country on gun purchase applications

POSTED: 8:38 PM Oct 18 2013   UPDATED: 4:06 PM Oct 21 2013
ABILENE, Texas -

This may not come as a surprise to Texans, but they are filling out more gun purchase applications than anyone else in the country.

Through the end of September, 1.2 million Texas filled out applications.

At this rate, last year's record of 1.4 million will be beat.

Patrick Cowen, owner of the Shootin' Shop, said there are a lot of reasons for these high numbers but mostly because "Texans are their own people."

Cowen said the increase could be because of the state's conservative gun laws.

"The gun laws aren't nearly what they're like up north," Cowen said. "We don't have the crazy restrictions that California does. There's no registration in the state of Texas. We just pass a background check and you can own a gun."

Or the increase is fueled by concern over potential, stricter regulations.

"People think they better get them now than not be able to get them later," Cowen said.

Or maybe it's just because Texans love their guns. 

"They're adding to their collections, investing, you know, we have lots of hunters, lots of shooters," Cowen said. "It's a past-time that people enjoy spending their money on."

These numbers don't reflect the number of purchases done privately, where a background check is not required; this includes person-to-person sales.

California ranks No. 2 in gun purchase applications and Illinois ranks No. 3. This is in spite of both state's strict laws against assault weapons.