High Gun Demand Clearing Out Shelves
KREX News Room
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. Gun stores throughout Colorado and Mesa County are experiencing surges in sales following the Newtown tragedy. They are especially seeing the spike with assault weapons.
While these massacres tend to spark gun control debates, this incident is prompting Sen. Dianne Feinstein to introduce a bill to ban assault weapons.
On a typical day, a background check for purchasing a gun may be an hour to an hour and a half. With the spike in sales, the wait is about 20 to 30 hours.
Top Shot owner Daniel Lente says he's seen a change in mindset among customers in the past few days
"Everybody's been just flooding in left and right for any firearms they can get their hands on right now."
Top Shot customer Justin Hemmer, said, "If the government wants to try and take them away from me, then I feel as though I should have one."
"Before everybody was getting them for going out to the range, doing target practice, doing different competition shootings. Before they were buying them because they wanted them, now they're buying them just because they feel they need them," said Lente.
Gun sale spikes after a tragedy is not a new phenomenon. However, Lente said, "But nothing compared to right now. In the state, I think the last time I checked the CBI background, it was showing there were over 2,500 buying at any time during the day."
Mesa County Sheriff, Stan Hilkey, said, "It seems that the intensity of the conversation has grown, but I think that intensity is felt after any one of these tragedies."
Customers are clearing the shelves with purchases of particular guns. "Semi-auto rifles, that's what's running out like crazy right now. Shotguns, semi-auto shotguns," said Lente.
Many gun owners say banning these weapons is not the answer.
Andrew Steice, another Top Shot customer, said, "There's already hundreds of millions of guns in America as it stands, and passing more laws against that isn't going to solve any problems when it's not a problem with guns, it's a problem with values."
"I've never been afraid of an armed population. For me the concern is the person who has some sort of mental illness or undiagnosed mental illness that is able to pull off like what happened in Connecticut," Sheriff Hilkey said.
While it is our right to bear arms, these tragedies may change how much freedom we're entitled to down the line.