(WBEN) Right after the Colorado theater shootings, public sentiment across the country began focusing on the possibility that tougher gun laws may have prevented the tragedy. It's also sent people in search of ways to protect themselves.
This morning, WBEN's Steve Cichon talked with a firearms instructor who says the theater shootings have ignited a lot of interest in people owning guns
"It's been non stop," says James Emmick of Firearms Training of Western New York, who adds that his next scheduled pistol permit course is "the most full ever"
Nationwide, firearms sales are surging in the wake of the Colorado movie theater massacre as buyers express fears that anti-gun politicians may use the shootings to seek new restrictions on owning weapons.
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In Colorado, the site of the shooting that killed 12 and injured dozens of others, gun sales jumped in the three days that followed. The state approved background checks for 2,887 people who wanted to purchase a firearm — 25 percent more than the average Friday to Sunday period in 2012 and 43 percent more than the same interval the week prior.
Day-to-day gun sales frequently fluctuate, but the numbers also look strong outside of Colorado, too.
Jay Wallace, who owns Adventure Outdoors in Smyrna, Ga., found that his sales on Saturday after the shooting were up 300 percent from the same day a year ago — making it one of the best Saturdays his business has ever had. He said customers are often afraid when there's a gun-related tragedy that some lawmakers might try and push through an anti-gun agenda.
Dick Rutan, owner of Gunners Den in suburban Arvada, Colo., said requests for concealed-weapon training certification "are off the hook." His four-hour course in gun safety, required for certification for a concealed-weapons permit in Colorado, has drawn double the interest since Friday.
Emmick has seen a similar spike in Western New York