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FBI: Gun-Related Background Checks Rising As Election Approaches

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- With the election looming, the number of people applying for gun background checks is at its highest number in nearly two decades.

More than 2.3 million Americans had background checks for gun-related purchases in October, according to the FBI National Instant Criminal Background Check System. It's the peak of an 18 month trend of record setting numbers leading up to the election.

"I think they're worried about their Second Amendment rights being taken away," Jeff Bryan, a gun owner from Richfield, said.

As for Minnesota, more than 70,000 gun background checks were processed in October, the highest since 1999. The background checks are also up nearly 38 percent from October 2015.

"While there is sometimes an uptick, 2016 looks to be a remarkable surge," political analyst Larry Jacobs said.

Hillary Clinton has said she would like to ban several types of assault weapons and create more comprehensive background checks. Donald Trump has campaigned about protecting Second Amendment rights and said mass shootings would be less deadly if civilians could carry.

Jacobs says the increase in background checks goes beyond politics.

"There is a real concern that perhaps there will be violence around Election Day, it's just not a good omen," Jacobs said.

Still some say any fear of repealing the second amendment is unfounded. On Twitter, one woman responded to the uptick: "its so ridiculous. #Hillary WILL NOT repeal the 2nd amendment."

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