Gun sales in local shops increase steadily

POSTED: 06:32 PM MST Dec 19, 2012 
IDAHO FALLS, Idaho -

The murder of 26 children and adults in the Connecticut school shooting last week has almost everyone talking about gun control laws.

However, firearm sales nationwide have been on a steady increase even before that.

From handguns to rifles, people are purchasing a wide range of firearms and the owner at the Ross Coin and Gun Shop in Idaho Falls attributes it to the fear of the unknown.

"The unknown is out there," said Reed Payne, shop owner. "Nobody knows what's going to go on... it's all anticipated."

It's that anticipation many are saying that's the cause of increased gun sales. At Ross Coin and Gun, lines at the gun counter have been long for days.

"I think that's what's created this increase in sales, just because people are scared that they're not going to be able to have them or that they'll be taken away," said Payne.  

And with the discussion of gun control heating up, suggestions like reinstating the assault weapons ban, which expired in 2004, and addressing magazine capacity has those in the pro-gun corner nervous.

"Anytime the federal government tries to step on our individual rights, that creates the market," said Payne.

A market that Payne said has motivated a lot of first-time firearm buyers as well. Everyone who wants to purchase a firearm has to pass an FBI background check first.

"We do all the right checks on people," said Payne. "But you know the one thing we can't check is how sane someone is... and maybe that's something that should be looked at."

Everyone who wants to buy a gun has to fill out an over-the-counter form. Question 11-F asks about the customer's mental health, but no matter what the answer, there really is no way to verify it.