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Thursday, August 1, 2013

Firearm Permit Requests Surge in Newtown Ahead of New Gun Laws

The Wall Street Journal reports that the number of people seeking permits to buy firearms in Newtown has surged with more than 200 people in Newtown have received new local pistol permits through July. This number surpasses the 171 new permits issued for all of last year. The permits are prerequisites for Connecticut permits that allow people to purchase and carry pistols as well as rifles or shotguns.

"I think people realize that you can't call the police all the time and expect them to save you," said Newtown resident Bill Stevens, 48 years old, an avid hunter who owns more than a dozen firearms. "It's sinking in to some folks that 'I need to take responsibility for keeping my family safe.' "

Like the rest of the nation, Connecticut has seen a steady increase in firearm transactions over the past decade. The Journal reports that according to the state Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection processed authorizations for the sale of 127,000 firearms—including pistols, rifles and shotguns—in 2012, more than double the number authorized in 2000.  If the current pace continues, the state will surpass last year's total by October.

Once again, the gun ban lobby took the opportunity to claim that all those new gun purchases are being made by existing gun owners.
"What seems like inconsistent data [between gun sales and gun ownership] may make a little more sense if you realize the bulk of guns that are purchased are purchased by people that already own guns," said Daniel Webster, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research. Presidential elections—which can spur fears of a change in policy—and mass shootings typically result in surges in gun sales, he added.
Tom Gresham, host of the weekly three-hour radio program Gun Talk, mentioned on his program a couple of weeks ago that one manufacturer told him based on product warranty cards received, clearly 25% of their sales are being made to new first time gun owners. So, folks like Webster can keep deluding themselves that firearms are being purchased by a shrinking market, but we have the facts on our side.

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