Gun shop owner speculates gun law debate prompted spike in sales

LEWISTON, ID - The mass shooting of 28 school children and adults, exactly two weeks ago, has sparked a passionate debate over gun control legislation.

Reporter Veronica Miracle explains how the dialog has resulted in an increase in firearm sales, locally.

Ken Turner's never had a lag in sales at his Gun and Pawn shop in the Orchards but lately, he's racing to keep up with demand.

"We're not going to be able to replace a lot of inventory very fast," said Turner. "It's going to take me awhile to restock."

It's a trend that's occurring nationwide but clearly visible in the Valley. The Asotin County Sheriff's Office typically receives two applications for concealed weapons permits a day. Over the past three days, they've had 31 applications. And roughly 80 since the shooting two weeks ago.

"In the past couple of weeks without any problem we've probably sold about 100 to 150 guns," said Turner.

Turner said compared to a typical December, his gun sales have doubled.

"We've doubled our sales in ammunition also," said Turner. "And a lot of our magazines, lot of the stuff doesn't sell very fast and it's all gone."

Nearly every firearm store in the Valley said they've also been cleaned out. Turner said the semiautomatic rifle has sold the most out of all his inventory. He speculates it's because of possible gun control laws that could be enacted.

"A lot of it has to do with the President wanting to take away our semi-automatic guns," said Turner.

Quickly after the Connecticut shooting, President Barack Obama formed a task force, designed to provide recommendations on how to reduce gun violence. Turner believes that possible gun control legislation is driving customers through his door.

"They feel that Congress really wants to control our firearms," said Turner.

Assault weapons and high capacity ammunition clips have been the focus of gun control advocates. It's unclear what laws the federal government might enact, if any, regarding gun control.

The Nez Perce County Sheriff's Office said they don't have exact figures but they've also seen an increase in concealed weapons permits over the last couple of weeks.