Gun sales following Newtown tragedy

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) –   In the days following the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, retailers across the country are reporting increases in gun sales.

Turtle Creek Pawn manager Brandon Thomas is one of several gun retailers who said the school shooting in Connecticut brought a boost in gun sales to the store, especially for "assault-type rifles" similar to the Bushmaster rifle that is available for purchase at Turtle Creek Pawn.

According to investigators in Connecticut, the shooter used a Bushmaster rifle during the rampage that left 20 first graders and six adults dead.

"Everybody's scared that they're not going to be able to get them anymore. So, everybody's just kind of stocking up on them as they can," Thomas said.

President Obama said in his statement after the shooting, "We're going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics."

Whether action taken by legislators will include banning assault rifles is yet to be seen. However, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters in a briefing Tuesday morning that President Obama is a supporter of California Senator Dianne Feinstein's plan to introduce legislation that will reinstate a 1994 federal ban on assault weapons that expired in 2004 under President George W. Bush.

National Rifle Association Certified Handgun Instructor Scott Vaughn believes whether an assault rifle is used depends on the person, not the weapon.

"Assault doesn't take a weapon, but now, if we use a weapon it's an assault weapon. If it's a rifle, it's an assault rifle, or if somebody was assaulted with handgun or a knife or a club," he said. "An assault rifle is any type of rifle somebody would use to assault somebody else. A lot of the media would like you to believe that it was a certain type."

Vaughn, who said he typically gets an increase in calls about his class after tragedies like the one in Newtown, does not believe bans are solutions to gun violence.

Vaughn said more access coupled with better education need to be part of the gun control discussion.

"Signs and laws don't stop them. It may be that we have to stop them."

The NRA released a statement Tuesday, saying:

"The National Rifle Association of America is made up of four million moms and dads, sons and daughters – and we were shocked, saddened and heartbroken by the news of the horrific and senseless murders in Newtown.

Out of respect for the families, and as a matter of common decency, we have given time for mourning, prayer and a full investigation of the facts before commenting.

The NRA is prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again.

The NRA is planning to hold a major news conference in the Washington, DC area on Friday, December 21.

Details will be released to the media at the appropriate time."

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