Gun sales surge across US after Newtown amid fears of crackdown

From Oregon to Connecticut, gun shops reported soaring sales over the weekend as national attention returns to gun control.

The Guardian, By Chris McGreal, December 18

Karl Durkheimer is more coy than might be expected of a man with a pistol on his hip.

Durkheimer’s gun shop looks to have enjoyed record sales of semi-automatics – “modern sporting rifles”, as he calls them – and handguns at the weekend. But he doesn’t want to talk specific numbers.

Nor is he terribly keen to speculate on the causes of the sudden demand. But he acknowledges that it probably has everything to do with a man killing two people with an assault rifle last week in a Portland shopping mall less than 10 minutes drive away, and Friday’s massacre of 20 small children and seven adults on the other side of the country in Connecticut.

“Handgun sales are up substantially and modern sporting rifles are up astronomically,” he said after a few days when his shop, Northwest Armory, was packed with buyers sizing up the most popular pistol in the US, the Glock, and the military-style AR-15 assault rifle, which also comes with a pink stock for women. “The people you see are twofold. There are first-time buyers who are in fear of what the future will bring. But most of what you saw is people hedging their bets that there might be a political policy put forward by the liberal side of the government.”

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