STATE-NEWSRICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Gun sales in Virginia have declined for the first time since 2010. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that Virginia State Police recorded background checks for 405,838 gun transactions in 2014. That’s down 15 percent from 479,253 transactions in 2013. The decline followed three years’ of growth. Gun sales logged by state police increased by 16 percent in 2011, 35 percent in 2012 and 11 percent in 2013. Virginia Commonwealth University assistant professor and criminologist Thomas R. Baker says the decline isn’t surprising. He tells the newspaper that the previous sales jumps were fueled by fears of increased gun control. State police began doing criminal background checks in late 1989.