Gun sales traditionally jump during the holiday season, and this year is no exception. However, a local gun store owner says sales have been even brisker than usual.
“It's been very busy,” said Richard Sprague, owner of Sprague's Sports, a gun store and shooting range. “It's usually busy during the holiday season, but this is different than other years.”
With talk of a possible ban on military-style assault weapons like the one used in the Connecticut shootings, gun enthusiasts have been flocking to his store.
“They're concerned with the future availability of certain products. There's uncertainty about the future and their ability to buy,” Sprague said.
The firearms being selected by customers have also changed in the last couple of days, he noted.
“Anything that falls under that category (assault weapons) is being snapped up right and left.”
Fear brought on by the Connecticut shootings is also pushing sales, Sprague said. Some customers have gone into the store looking for weapons to protect themselves.
“It's part of that. Handguns have also been flying off the shelves,” he said.
Many customers have also expressed concern with gun safety and keeping the weapons they already have locked up.
“A lot have been buying gun locks. They're kind of reanalyzing their security at home,” Sprague noted.
Gun-rights advocates and gun owners fear stricter gun control following the latest shooting rampage that killed 20 children at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., even though the second amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects the right to bear arms.
Police say the gunman, Adam Lanza, carried an arsenal of ammunition and used a high-powered rifle similar to the military's M-16.
Several politicians are calling for a new look into the recent spate of mass shootings and what can be done to prevent them, including a ban on military-style assault weapons.
At a Sunday night service in Newtown, Conn., the site of Friday's massacre, President Barack Obama did not specifically address gun control. But he vowed, “In the coming weeks I'll use whatever power this office holds to engage my fellow citizens, from law enforcement to mental health professionals to parents and educators, in an effort aimed at preventing more tragedies like this.”
He added: “Are we really prepared to say that we're powerless in the face of such carnage, that the politics are too hard? Are we prepared to say that such violence visited on our children year after year after year is somehow the price of our freedom?”
The Associated Press contributed to this story.