Nevada Gun Sales Surge After Connecticut Shooting - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Nevada Gun Sales Surge After Connecticut Shooting

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Gun retailers usually expect to see their biggest sales on Black Friday.

But in Nevada, nearly 2,400 background checks were submitted between Friday and Sunday, making it the busiest weekend of the year.

Jim Harwin is the General Manager of Safe Shot Indoor Range and says they are selling about 500% more firearms than usual.

"Our volume over the past three days has been equivalent to about three months worth of standard gun sales," Harwin said. "So, it's been phenomenal."

Harwin says yesterday was the busiest Monday he has ever seen.

While sales usually go up around Christmas, he says this jump is a direct result of Friday's mass shooting in Connecticut.

"Family people, people that have kids are coming in and getting guns," Harwin said. "It's just changing the thought pattern and the attitude and it's definitely a knee-jerk reaction and it's obvious because it's going on all over the place."

Harwin says most of his recent sales have gone to first-time buyers looking for protection.

Still, many opinions on guns have not changed.

"My father was in the military," Reno resident Frank Sparks said. "He showed me how to shoot guns and how to handle them. But the rest of my life, I have never had a desire to have a gun."

"I already have guns but if I didn't have a gun, I probably would go buy a gun," Reno resident Eric Verrinder said. "I think everybody needs a gun to protect themselves, nowadays. You just never know what's going to happen."

Handguns are outselling rifles by about 20-to-1, at Safe Shot. Ammunition and 30-round magazine sales are also surging.

Harwin says one distributor had more than 100,000 of them sell overnight.

"We're seeing the 30-round magazines drying up on the shelves, fairly quickly, because there has been chatter, government chatter, about possibly banning, restricting, or completely terminating the 30-round magazine," Harwin said.

Background checks go through the Nevada Department of Public Safety, and the process of buying a gun takes about ten minutes.

But over the weekend, phone lines were so backed up, it took about 90 minutes.

Written by Paul Nelson
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