Gun Sales Up as Gun Control Discussion Spreads - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Gun Sales Up as Gun Control Discussion Spreads

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The gun violence in Newtown, Connecticut; Aurora, Colorado; and, most recently, with two New York firefighters has caused a ripple effect; on one side, the discussion of gun control and, on the other side, rising gun sales.

You might ask yourself which came first: gun legislation or gun sales?

This year's mass shootings have set some law makers on a course to restrict guns, specifically semi-automatic rifles, while enthusiasts are grabbing while they can.

"We've had calls from out of town people looking for them and even today we've had people coming in from out of town just looking to buy them. Some people are buying them just to resell them and make money on them," said Owner of C&G Sporting Goods, Ronnie Groom.

Groom has had a hard time keeping the .223 caliber semi-automatic rifles (or AR's) on the shelves.

"We did sell out of AR's. I understand they're out everywhere," said Groom.

Groom said they've recently sold guns like hot cakes; not just the AR's, but others for hunting and self protection.

It's going to be several months before they can catch up again," said Groom of gun factories in the brunt of the gun rush.

It's the semi-automatic rifles that have garnered the most attention lately; specifically, the Bushmaster AR 15. It is the same gun used by the gunmen in Newtown, Connecticut, Aurora, Colorado and the firefighter shootings in New York.

While some lawmakers are crying for change, enthusiasts like groom are saying its common sense.

"The real problem with people getting shot is the people, not the gun. The gun can't think," said Groom.

The National Rifle Association feels the same, offering their own suggestion in the wake of the Newtown tragedy.

"What every mom and dad…what will make them feel better when they drop their kid off at school in the morning is if we have a police officer in that school… A good guy," said an NRA Spokesman.

A good guy, but it's not necessarily a good solution to some law makers.

"The NRA spokes people have dealt with every possible causes of gun violence except Guns," said Joe Lieberman in an interview with CNN.

Florida State Representative and gun owner, Jimmy Patronis, said we have to address another glaring issue.

"Could we look at mental health or could we maybe do more about mental health preparedness in our state," he asked.

Patronis said yes.

"Mental health is a reality and I think gun-control is fine just the way it is," said Patronis.

With the new legislative session around the corner, he expects the gun control topic to come up.

"The legislation as proposed it'll be heard it'll be debated I won't be supporting any changes in the current gun Laws," said Patronis.

Patronis said this year, they were successful in getting FACT funding, or a fast action response team right here in Northwest Florida for help to deal with mental health illnesses.