NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Gun control is a debate that tends to surface after a mass shooting, and the massacre on Sandy Hook Elementary School is no different.
Should there be tighter gun control laws? Just the talk of legislation has gun owners reaching for their wallets and as many weapons as they can get.
The FBI said gun sales has hit a record. Nationwide, they've done more than 16.8 million back ground checks for gun buyers just this year alone.
The Colorado Bureau of Investigations said the day after the Sandy Hook shooting, they received the most background check requests ever in a single day for gun buyers. Now, Arkansas is seeing some of the same.
At Don's Weaponry in North Little Rock, the phone hasn't stopped ringing and Chuck Lawson hasn't stopped selling.
"Yesterday, it really, really increased. After the president's speech, it scared a lot of people," said Lawson. "They are wanting to get a hold of just about anything before it's banned."
Robert Louthian said it's Christmas shopping that brought him in Tuesday, not a fear of more gun control legislation.
"It's not going to happen in Arkansas. I'll promise you that. There is too many people here that won't tolerate that," said Louthian.
The increase in gun sales hasn't lasted just a few days but more like a few years. Nationally, the FBI said it has conducted nearly double the amount of background checks required to buy a gun in the last 10 years. This year in Arkansas, background checks were ran on 207,363 people, compared to 169,628 in 2000.
"Let's face it. The guns don't pull the trigger. It's the people that pull the trigger," said Louthian.
It's a sentiment Lawson agreed with.
"Anytime somebody uses a firearm to do something stupid, there is the outrage that comes out, and the first thing you hear is, 'Oh, we have to do something about the guns.' It's not the guns we need to do something about. It's the people," said Lawson.
Lawson said everyone who purchases a firearm is required to pass a NICS background check. Any crime that could put you in jail for a year will keep you from buying a weapon. Even something as simple as unpaid fines on traffic violations will cause your request to buy a weapon to be denied.
The conversation of gun control has spilled over to social media.
On Facebook, Danny wrote, "Ban them all! After 37 school shootings since 1974, do we need another one?" Lindsey said, "Criminals will still find guns, so how will we protect ourselves from them?"
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