Gun Sales Jump After Connecticut School Shooting

By: Shannon Kantner Email
By: Shannon Kantner Email

Richard Allen has always considered getting a handgun, and the tragic events in Newtown, Conn., sealed the deal.

"Because of what's going on in the country, you've got so many crazy people running around out there, you need a way to protect ourselves in self defense," Allen said.

He's not the only one that feels that way. Classic Arms in Lansing was packed Tuesday with more shopping, including Allen, than usual during the holidays.

"It has been very, very hectic," Classic Arms owner Yvonne Evanoff-Joseph said. "Sales have increased because of the election, but this latest tragedy in Connecticut has really prompted people to come out and buy guns."

Other local firearms stores are experiencing a surge in sales as well. The National Instant Checking System clerks need to call for long-arm gun sales could barely be reached, meaning the increased sales are happening across the country.

"Typically it's an immediate situation," Evanoff-Joseph said. "Right now they're back-logged, they're not taking any calls, so we have to just keep trying."

She said most people are looking specifically for the sporting rifles, but almost every place is sold out.

"Those are the ones that have been vilified, and for the fact that they look ominous," Evanoff-Joseph said.

No matter the gun type, no one will leave the store without getting the proper check - even a great grandfather who wants to help his grand kids learn proper gun safety.

"I'm bringing them up right," Allen said. "They know what to do and what not to do, and how to protect themselves in this sort of a thing and that situation."

Meanhwile, in an effort to remove guns from homes and the streets, Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero announced another gun buy back program for the city.

"Now is the time for people to think about whether they need that gun in their house or whether they don't," Mayor Bernero said. "Now is the time before tragedy strikes."

People who turn in a handgun will receive a $100 gift card for and $200 for an assault rifle. Police still need to raise at least $10,000 through community donations.

The city expects the program to take place in February.


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