Fear sparks a rise in gun sales nationwide
Charlotte-area gun shops report a spike in sales amid fears over personal protection and possible new firearm restrictions following Friday’s Colorado theater shooting.
Bob Dickie, owner of High Caliber Firearms in Gastonia, said he has seen at least a 30 percent increase in sales since the shooting and the heated gun control debate that has followed.
“The general thing I’m hearing is vulnerability,” Dickie said. “So wherever you would have a high traffic public forum –shopping mall, a theater – people are pretty apprehensive.”
He said many of his customers were looking to buy handguns, some for the first time.
“I’d say the greater majority are first-time buyers – people who may have considered it in the past, but this event in Colorado made them go and at least consider it,” he said. “I fielded a lot of questions concerning what handgun should I buy, what caliber should I buy.”
Larry Hyatt, owner of Hyatt Gun Shop in Charlotte, said he has heard different concerns.
“When the public hears a lot of talk of gun control, we see a pretty big spike in business,” he said, adding that some are worried that high-capacity firearms could be outlawed.
Some Democratic lawmakers in Congress cited the shooting as evidence of the need for tougher gun control laws — particularly a ban on high-capacity magazines that carry more ammunition. Others have argued that the shooting, which left 12 dead and dozens injured, could have been less severe if others in the theater were armed.
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