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Colorado Gun Sales Soar After Aurora Tragedy

Gun sales in Colorado have soared after the tragic shooting in Aurora.


Gun sales in Colorado have soared in the aftermath of the shooting in Aurora last Friday, which left 12 people dead and 58 injured.

Background checks needed for gun ownership have jumped by 41 percent and demand for training sessions required for a concealed-carry permit has also increased, according to The Denver Post.

"A lot of it is people saying, 'I didn't think I needed a gun, but now I do,'" Jake Meyers, an employee at Rocky Mountain Guns and Ammo, told The Denver Post on Monday. "When it happens in your backyard, people start reassessing — 'Hey, I go to the movies.'"

The Colorado Bureau of Investigation approved background checks for 2,887 people who wanted to purchase a gun, a 43 percent increase over the previous weekend, said The Denver Post.

NPR noted that there have been reports of increased sales from other parts of the country, including Oklahoma. Similar surges in sales were reported in the aftermath of the shooting rampage in Tucson, Arizona, in 2011, and the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007, said NPR.

Agence France Presse noted that the Aurora shooting re-ignited the debate on gun control because the suspected shooter, James Holmes, purchased his four weapons legally.

Within a span of eight weeks, he bought 6,300 rounds of ammunition for his .233 semi-automatic AR-15 rifle, two Glock pistols and one pump-action shotgun.

An opinion editorial in MSNBC on Tuesday noted that though precise figures for gun ownership are hard to find, there are an estimated 200 million to 300 million guns in America, enough to arm every individual in the country.

However, according to the General Social Survey, run by the University of Chicago, the number of households which own guns has steadily declined in the last few decades. In 1977, around 54 percent of households owned guns, but by 2010 the number had declined to 32 percent.

MSNBC noted that the chief executive of Smith & Wesson attributed increases in sales to an "installed user base," or established gun owners buying more guns.