State News

NC residents rush to get gun permits, buy rifles

Posted December 19, 2012
Updated December 20, 2012

— From the outskirts of the capital to the state's largest city, North Carolina residents have rushed to secure gun permits and buy weapons in the wake of the shooting deaths at a Connecticut elementary school last week.

Aaron Byrd, co-owner of Patriot Shooting Sports in Youngsville, said he had a dozen AR-15s in stock before they were snapped up in about a day and a half following the Newtown shooting. Youngsville is just north of Raleigh.

"Things have been crazy the past couple of days," Byrd said. "A lot of people have been coming in looking to purchase semiautomatic rifles. They're worried that the government's going to ban semiautomatic rifles and high-capacity magazines, so they've been coming in looking for those. And we've sold out of all of them."

A gunman armed with a military-style assault rifle and several high-capacity ammunition magazines slaughtered 20 children and six teachers and administrators at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., last Friday. The gunman, Adam Lanza, also killed his mother at her home.

Just down the road from Youngsville, in nearby Rolesville, owner David Driver of Hunter's Haven said he has also sold the few AR-15s he had in stock. He said his shop focuses more on archery.

"More people are buying stuff for fear of other people, to protect themselves from the way society is going," Driver said.

NC residents rush to get gun permits, buy rifles NC residents rush to get gun permits, buy rifles

Driver also said he thinks people are worried that a potential government ban means they won't be able buy semiautomatic weapons. He expressed his own concern that new laws will make it harder for him to buy such weapons.

"They're going to vote on this and they're not going to give us the opportunity to do squat," he said. "It is not a democracy — them telling me what I can and cannot do."

It's also been busy in Raleigh at Eagle 1 Supply, where the store has sold out of some of its rifles.

Brandon Worley said he's also seen an increase in the demand for gun safety classes.

It's unclear just how many people have applied for gun permits in Wake County. A spokeswoman for the sheriff's office said those numbers are tracked monthly.

Elsewhere, Julia Rush of the Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office said they usually see about 50 applications a day. Between last Saturday and Monday, the office received 290 applications.

Rush attributed the increase to the school shootings and to fear over a possible ban on assault weapons.

"The shooting made people more aware of their safety," Rush said. "I also think people are purchasing weapons right now thinking it's going to be an investment because possibly down the road they will be harder to get. Somebody made the comment that, 'Hey, this is better than an investment than in gold.'"

As many as 130,000 guns were sold across the country on Saturday, making it the third-biggest day for gun sales in U.S. history.

The number does not include the number of people who have applied for new permits in the aftermath of the Newtown, Conn., shootings.

Colorado set a single-day record for gun background check requests on Saturday, and some online retailers are removing assault rifles from websites in part because of diminishing supplies.

389 Comments

This story is closed for comments. Comments on WRAL.com news stories are accepted and moderated between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Oldest First
View all
  • JustOneGodLessThanU Dec 26, 12:05 p.m.

    Common ground? Can we all agree that mental & prison background checks should be made before anyone can buy a gun anywhere in the U.S.?

  • Crumps Br0ther Dec 26, 10:11 a.m.

    AND dEMOCRATS DO NOT HIDE BEHIND ARSENALS.

    piene2

    But you have no problem with a doctor killing 26 unborn children. Crazy man shoots up a bunch of people, take guns away, which you have a choice to own or not. Doctor kills 26 kids, its a choice to have him do it. And death row inmates need to be spared as well. Interesting how the liberal mind works.

  • Crumps Br0ther Dec 26, 10:06 a.m.

    AND dEMOCRATS DO NOT HIDE BEHIND ARSENALS.

    piene2

    Nope you just hide behind petitions and liberal guilt

  • SmokeWagon Dec 24, 12:02 p.m.

    ..."Still trying to figure out why repugs are actually okay with 20 children being murdered.- unbroken..."

    "ok with 20 children being murdered..??? REALLY...??? I am still amazed that you communist democrats are disproportionately venting your anger at a rifle and ammunition rather than the REAL problem of failed security in schools, time and time again...and when someone suggests a way to combat these failures you all squall like a bunch of stuck cowardly pigs.....!!!!! ....but WAIT...your Nomobama and lapdog media will tell you EXACTLY how to react shortly.......!!!!!!

  • SmokeWagon Dec 24, 11:51 a.m.

    ..."AND dEMOCRATS DO NOT HIDE BEHIND ARSENALS...."

    Yea...you are right...liberal cowards are quite happy to relie on others and are quite happy to "contract out" their own and their families safety and security to a 911 cell phone service and a government employee that is 10 minutes away eating donuts and drinking coffee...!!! Yea..don't worry, criminals are likely willing to let you find your cell phone and make a phone call or two.....!!!!

  • piene2 Dec 21, 8:26 a.m.

    Whoops, sorry, I accidentally typed that in capitols lock and was in the middle of fixing it.

  • piene2 Dec 21, 8:25 a.m.

    "Completely untrue characterization of people you are opposed to. The difference is that Republicans don't hide behind murdered children to push a social engineering agenda.

    Ripcord"

    AND dEMOCRATS DO NOT HIDE BEHIND ARSENALS.

  • Unbroken Dec 20, 4:55 p.m.

    "Still trying to figure out why repugs are actually okay with 20 children being murdered.- unbroken

    They aren't.

    But they're likewise not ok with a suggestiong 'solution' that takes peoples rights way while not actually helping at all, which is what he democrats are suggesting.

    A reactionary bad law in response to a horrible incident isn't a good thing.

    Two wrongs don't make a right.

    junkmail5"

    A rational response. Thank you junkmail.

  • Ripcord Dec 20, 4:26 p.m.

    "Still trying to figure out why repugs are actually okay with 20 children being murdered. Guess as long as it wasn't their kid, it doesn't really matter." - Unbroken

    Completely untrue characterization of people you are opposed to. The difference is that Republicans don't hide behind murdered children to push a social engineering agenda.

  • charmcclainlovesdogs2 Dec 20, 4:21 p.m.

    Why are these people suddenly afraid and scared to death? There has been danger lurking all around them every day. Why now? When President Kennedy was killed, why not then instead of now? None of us are safe anywhere, not even your own home. People are breaking in people homes while you are there. That is not safe. Just pray for the Lord will hear.

More...