Background checks for gun purchases spiked 43 percent in Colorado after 12 people were killed inside a suburban Denver movie theater, according to state data.
Gun dealers submitted 2,887 requests for state background checks required to sell a firearm in the three days after the July 20 shooting, said Susan Medina, a spokeswoman for the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. That’s 43 percent more than the 2,012 requests during the same three days the prior week, and a 39 percent increase over the 2,078 check during the first Friday to Sunday in July.
Debate over gun laws after high-profile shootings, like the one police say James Holmes, 24, was responsible for in Aurora, Colorado, often helps spark gun sales. Last year, one-day gun sales in Arizona jumped 60 percent after a gunman killed six people in a Tuscon parking lot and wounded then-U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords.
“It’s sad,” said Larry Hyatt, owner of Charlotte, North Carolina-based Hyatt Guns, which says it’s the largest independent gun store in the U.S. “What we see is a lot of people worried these type incidents will cause more gun laws to be passed.”