The Aurora, Colo., shooting has ratcheted up debates about gun laws. But in the State where the shooting occurred, something else has ratcheted up: gun sales.
Background checks needed to buy a gun legally are up 43 percent after James Holmes’ alleged shooting spree. Prosecutors say that Holmes, the alleged gunman, purchased all his weapons and ammunition legally. In the aftermath of the attack, citizens of Aurora have taken to gun shops to buy their weapons legally as well, to protect themselves against people like Holmes.
Over the weekend, according to the Colorado Bureau of Investigations, 2,887 people were approved to buy a gun. Gun shop owners have also reported an increase in sales.
Dick Rutan, owner of Gunners Den, a gun shop in Arvada, Colo., told The Denver Post: “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.”
Jake Meyers, who works at Rocky Mountain Guns and Ammo in Parker, Colo., told The Post: “A lot of it is people saying, ‘I didn’t think I needed a gun, but now I do.’ When it happens in your backyard, people start reassessing — ‘Hey, I go to the movies.’ ”
According to reports, gun sales have also increased in Florida and Oregon.
Two other events in recent history sparked an increase in gun sales: the election of President Barack Obama and the shooting in Arizona that injured Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and killed six others.
Since the Aurora shooting, media outlets have been flooded with stories about gun control. Rapper-turned-actor Ice-T even got in on the action, defending the right to bear arms.
“The right to bear arms is because that’s the last form of defense against tyranny. … If somebody wants to kill people, they don’t need a gun to do it. … The United States is based on guns,” he said during an interview with Channel 4 London.