In the first three weeks of July there was an average of 22 concealed-carry weapons permit applications per week in Douglas County. In the week …
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In the first three weeks of July there was an average of 22 concealed-carry weapons permit applications per week in Douglas County. In the week following the Aurora theater shootings, there were 94 applications submitted.
“In order to get a concealed handgun permit, people do have to go through a training class and pass all the required background (checks), and many of those folks would have already been in the process (before Aurora), so even though there is an influx it may just be coincidental,” said Sgt. Ron Hanavan, spokesman for the sheriff’s office.
That said, the number of background checks for gun purchases conducted by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation also jumped following the shooting. In the three days after the theater killings, there were 2,887 checks conducted by CBI, a spike of 25 percent over the average Friday-Sunday period from earlier in the month. The numbers climbed to 2,892 the following weekend.
If you ask Josh Ragsdale, salesman at J&J Enterprises’ Shootin’ Shack on County Line Road, the reason is twofold.
“Everybody is scared that they are going to take our rights away, which would be totally stupid because that wasn’t the gun’s fault,” he said, adding that more and more people are coming into the store because they want to protect themselves.
According to Ragsdale, the store was doing an average of three or four gun sales per day prior to the shooting, but that has jumped to about 10 a day since.
“There’s been an absolutely huge uptick,” he said. “Our smaller handgun sales are way up with people who want to conceal, and recently I’ve seen the whole front of our store filled with boxes from orders from our distributor.
“Anybody can go out and buy a gun, but you have to understand what can happen after you buy that gun, what’s going to happen if you are going to use that gun in your home. You have to be prepared if you are going to use that gun for self-defense, for instance. You have to be prepared to shoot someone … because if you aren’t and somebody breaks into your home, they are going to use it on you instead. If you’re not ready to pull that trigger, then you shouldn’t have a firearm.”
As far as people arming themselves for another possible Aurora situation, Ragsdale said it isn’t likely that someone who carries a weapon could necessarily prevent such an event from unfolding.
“Even with somebody like me or my boss, we deal with firearms all day long; firearms pretty much are our life,” he said. “But if I would have been put in that situation, that would have been a concealed-carry nightmare because the guy was wearing body armor and a head shot is about all you would have had, and even at that it would have been a very small target zone. Unless someone was really trained well, it probably wouldn’t have helped.”
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