HOUSTON-- Texas leads the nation in the number of people seeking federal permission to buy guns.
Federal statistics reviewed by the Houston Chronicle show 1.2 million people in Texas so far this year have filled out applications for background checks. At that rate, last year's record 1.4 million requests will be surpassed by the end of 2013.
Would-be purchasers from a federally licensed dealer must apply with the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. Criminal convictions, dishonorable military discharges or renouncing their citizenship can get a buyer rejected.
One gun store owner, Jim Pruett, told the newspaper Friday that President Barack Obama motivates gun buyers "any time he talks about gun control."
The numbers don't include transactions between private citizens. Those don't require background checks.