Gun sales surging following Newtown school shooting - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Gun sales surging following Newtown school shooting

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LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- Gun sales are surging following the tragic school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. More people are buying weapons even as the debate over gun control heats up.

Much of the gun control debate centers around the semi-automatic, high capacity weapons.  It's those very guns that are flying out of stores right now.

"There's a huge network of sporting that goes on with these kind of firearms, so they're calling these the modern sporting rifle right now, because they're hugely popular," said Barry Laws, owner of the Open Range gun store.

They've become even more popular since the Newtown massacre. A week ago, the Open Range gun store had more than a dozen of these so-called assault weapons in stock. There are now three left, and they'll likely be gone by Friday.

"What we would call the modern sporting rifle, the high cap mags, things they're talking about in the news seem to be going, but I'll tell you a lot of different handguns are being sold as well just from people wanting to arm themselves," said Laws.

Barry Laws believes there are two reasons why gun sales have spiked since Newtown. Number one, concerns about personal security and, number two, concern that weapons like that one might one day be banned.  "People may be thinking that they won't be able to buy something, so they want to go ahead and buy it now," said Laws.

Louisville Congressman John Yarmuth on Monday announced his intention to push for more gun control in the wake of Newtown.  He blames the surge in gun sales on fear generated by groups such as the NRA.

"I think once the proposals are actually introduced in congress and discussed, I think the vast majority of Americans will consider them reasonable and something that would be helpful in reducing the level of gun violence," said Yarmuth.

But for some, it's going to be a hard sell.  "I tell you what, you take all the guns away, people are going to start buying knives. You take all the knives away, people will start buying clubs. It's just the nature of people," said Laws.

Yet, even Laws concedes that a regulation closing a loophole that does not require background checks for private sales, such as those in gun shows might be reasonable. Of course, that would not affect his business since he is a licensed gun dealer.

Interestingly, since Newtown, the NRA has been silent.

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