US firearm sales have sky-rocketed since the Newtown school massacre, as debate over gun control rages and enthusiasts fear certain assault weapons and high-capacity magazines could be banned.
President Barack Obama basically has put gun enthusiasts on warning, Larry Hyatt, owner of a gun shop in Charlotte, North Carolina, told AFP, referring to efforts to outlaw some firearms in the wake of the Newtown shooting.
A semi-automatic Bushmaster AR-15 assault rifle was used in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in which a disturbed local young man shot dead 20 young children, six adults and his mother before taking his own life.
“Right after it, anti-guns (activists) started talking. The president said he wanted quick action, and so that is going to fuel the buying frenzy, and it is,” Hyatt said, describing the rush as largely “politically motivated.”
“We have been in business for 50 years, and we have seen (fear-based buying) before,” Hyatt said. “But this is more intense because the president got in the media and basically said, ‘if you want a gun, you better get it now.’”