There was a surge in applications for gun permits in Colorado—and also other states—after the Aurora massacre and gun shop owners reported that new customers were lined up outside in the wake of the killings, according to a report on the BBC.
There have been similar increases in applications for background checks and gun sales after other significant events in the country, law officials said, such as the election of President Obama and the Arizona shooting in 2011 that killed six and injured Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. In addition to wanting a weapon to ward off an assailant, officials say, people are fearful that a new incident will renew calls for more gun control, prompting them to get a gun while they can.
In the three days following the shooting, applications for the background checks that Colorado requires to buy a gun had increased 43 percent from the previous week.
There were a total of 880 people who applied for the background checks on Friday, July 13—on the weekend after the shooting, the number jumped to 1,216 on Friday and 1,243 on Saturday, a total of 2,887 over the weekend, according to the Colorado Bureau of Investigations.
Dick Rutan, owner of Gunners Den in the Colorado town of Arvada, told BBC that sales were “off the hook.”
“What they’re saying is, ‘they want to have a chance’,” he told the Denver Post. “They want to have the ability to protect themselves and their families if they are in a situation like what happened in the movie theatre.”
Jake Meyers, who works for the Rocky Mountain Guns & Ammo in the town of Park, just 15 miles (24km) from Aurora, said about 20 people were waiting outside when he arrived at work on the day after the shooting.
According to the Associated Press, sales increased in other states, including Florida, which recorded a 14 percent rise from the previous week, and Oregon, where July’s sales were up by 11 percent over June.
What all of this means is that there is very little chance that politicians will be emboldened to confront gun control in the U.S. anytime soon.