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Area gun sales light compared to national trend
Gun sellers in Glynn County are not seeing the same reaction to the Colorado movie massacre as their counterparts are elsewhere across the state and in other parts of the nation.

Ed Tompkins, owner of Shooters of America on Scranton Connector, said he has seen plenty of activity at his store since the shooting, but he would not call it out of the ordinary.

He said the surging sales in Colorado are a knee-jerk reaction to the possibility that lawmakers may seek new weapons restrictions in response to the shootings inside a movie theater Friday in Aurora, Colo., that killed 12 and injured dozens of others.

"It's terrible when stuff like this happens, but I don't think it calls for any new legislation," Tompkins said.

At Second Amendment Firearms Emporium on Glynn Park Road, owner J.R. Fiveash said he has had a recent spike in gun sales, but he noted it is not likely related to the shooting deaths. Small arms and handguns, as well as ammunition sales, have been spiking for the last month.

He said residents are likely to stock up in case more restrictions are placed on gun ownership.

In Colorado, gun sales jumped in the three days that followed the shooting. 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.

Dick Rutan, owner of Gunners Den in suburban Arvada, Colo., said requests for concealed-weapons 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.

"What they're saying is: They want to have a chance. They want to have the ability to protect themselves and their families if they are in a situation like what happened in the movie theater," Rutan said.

The numbers also look strong outside Colorado. Connecticut processed 38 percent more gun-related records over the past several days compared with the same period two months prior. Florida recorded 2,386 background checks on Friday, up 14 percent from the week before. Oregon checks on Friday and Saturday were up 11 percent over the past month.

Four days of checks in California were up 10 percent month-to-month.

Jay Wallace, who owns Adventure Outdoors in Smyrna, Ga., found his sales on Saturday 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.

"We shouldn't let one sick individual make us forget and lose sight of freedoms in this country," Wallace said.

A few members of Congress have talked this week about the need for tougher gun laws, though political leaders in Washington have shown no sign of bringing up such measures anytime soon.

- Associated Press contributed to this report



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