State police are grappling with a backlog of some 62,000 gun permit background checks, the result of a surge in gun sales in the wake of the Newtown shootings last December.
The spike in requests for background checks has grown 6,000 percent since the Dec. 14 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, from 1,000 in December to the current of about 62,000, according to the Connecticut Post.
"The numbers are way up," State Police Commander Daniel Stebbins told the newspaper. He said much of the increase is a result of private gun sales. Under new state laws private sales of guns, as well as sales through a retailer, now require background checks of those purchasing the weapons.
"We didn't see this coming and there was no way we could be prepared for it," Stebbins added.
The state’s Office of Fiscal Analysis estimates that Connecticut’s new gun laws, passed in reaction to the Newtown shootings that killed 20 students and six educators, will cost taxpayers up to $17 million in the next three years, the Post reports, including more than $4 million for state police to hire more workers and to process background checks and other gun-related requirements under the new laws.