Local/State

Gun sales spike following theater shooting

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Several states are reporting a surge in background checks for gun sales since the movie massacre in Colorado.

Official figures have not been released to show if sales have risen in North Carolina. However, local gun shops owners told ABC11 that people aren't just buying guns for protection. It's for politics as well.

Amid the rapid fire at Raleigh Gun Range, Theresa DeGrasse walks in eager to buy a gun.

"My goal is to carry a concealed weapon, because when I drive a lot, I'm alone," said DeGrasse.

Gun sales have surged since Friday's mass shooting outside Denver.

Colorado has seen a 40 percent jump in firearm background checks with similar spikes in Oregon, California, and Florida.

DeGrasse said she considered beefing up her personal protection with a handgun long before the massacre.

"I just think we're all coming to the conclusion that we all need to have a gun," said DeGrasse.

Experts said a gun sale surge after a mass shooting isn't unusual. Hand gun purchases in Arizona jumped 60 percent after the mass shooting in Tuscon.

"We're bombarded all day long with all sorts of bad stories and people wonder 'How am I going to protect myself and my family from this,'" said gun shop owner Mike Tilley.

Yet unlike past mass shooting tragedies, Tilley said his gun shop hasn't seen the big spike in sales.

"We usually do see it and I don't know, maybe it's the economy," said Tilley. "Sales are up a little bit anyway just because it's an election year and the uncertainty of that."

Despite the fact that Congress hasn't passed a strict gun control measure in over a decade, Tilley thinks the biggest fear filling his law-abiding customers is the potential for new gun laws getting in the way of their next purchase.

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