Youngsville, N.C. — The national concern over mass shootings, like the one in Newtown, Conn., last month has sparked a debate about gun control, resulting in gun shops reporting higher-than-normal gun and ammunition sales.
That's the case in Youngsville at Patriot Shooting Sports, where co-owner Aaron Byrd says sales are two-to-three times higher than they normally are for this time of year.
He's also seeing a shortage of ammunition because customers are stocking up as President Barack Obama is set to announce new measures to tackle gun violence.
"That's what's really got people concerned," Byrd said. "So, a lot of people are going out and getting it while they can.
Franklin County Sheriff Jerry Jones says applications for gun permits and concealed carry permits has also increased.
In just the first 10 days of January, his office received 47 applications for conceal-carry permits and 125 for pistol permits. Compared with January 2012, the sheriff's office received 60 conceal-carry applications and 55 for pistol permits.
"When I walk in my office every morning at 8 a.m., it's like I'm going into a dentist's office or a doctor's office, when all my chairs are full," Jones said.
This week, Vice President Joe Biden, whom Obama tapped to lead a task force on preventing gun violence, met with the National Rifle Association, representatives from the video-gaming industry and others on the matter.
Biden is expected to deliver a proposal on gun violence prevention to the president next week. It's expected to include recommendations to address mental health care and violence on television, in movies and video games.