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Local News

January 12, 2013

Run on guns at area stores

Sales of guns and ammunition at three local gun shops rose again after the shootings in Newtown, Conn., business owners said, and demand continues to increase as the debate about gun control intensifies at state and federal levels. 

“Sales have increased unbelievably,” Jim Losie, owner of Losie’s Gun Shop in Oneonta, said Thursday. 

Losie and owners of Mayhood’s Sporting Goods in Norwich and Lyn’s Leisure Tyme Gun Shop in Davenport previously said gun sales had spiked after President Barack Obama was re-elected in November. 

The gun shop owners agreed that the prospect of tightened gun control and limited ability to buy guns has prompted would-be owners to quit procrastinating and buy firearms. 

The demand has reduced their inventory of guns and ammunition, they said, and like retailers nationally, their supply depends on wholesalers who cannot keep up with orders. 

The three gun shop owners also supported the idea that having an armed presence, not necessarily by a uniformed law enforcement officer, at schools could deter a gunman or other violent incident.

On Dec. 14, a gunman opened fire using an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., killing 20 first-graders and six educators. The gunman also shot his mother, who owned the rifle, and himself. 

 “People are so disgusted and outraged that these little children were killed,” Linda Fitzgerald, owner of Lyn’s Leisure Tyme Gun shop, said.

However, concerns about legislation that would restrict gun ownership have prompted purchases, she said. 

Within days after the Newtown shootings, Fitzgerald said, her inventory of AR-15 rifles was gone, and gun sales otherwise have been “absolutely crazy.” With limits on new stock, she said, the shop is looking into the availability of used firearms. 

This past week, lawmakers in New York and in Washington, D.C., worked on gun control issues and legislation.

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