PROVIDENCE, RI (WPRI) - Gun sales in Rhode Island were up about 40 percent in 2012 according to statistics compiled by the state Attorney General's office and store owners say sales climbed even more sharply since the Newtown school shooting.
Several Rhode Island gun store owners tell Target 12 their sales have doubled in recent weeks and they say so far it's not ‘slowing down' in 2013.
One gun shop proprietor asked for anonymity, saying the last time he talked publicly, gun control advocates protested in front of his store.
He's noticed an especially strong demand for 30 round magazines. He said high capacity magazines were selling for about $20 a piece before the Connecticut shooting. Now, he says they're selling for about 5 times that.
Rhode Island State Police Colonel Steven O'Donnell is one of many calling for a ban on high capacity magazines. Colonel O'Donnell has told Target 12 that he wants magazine capacity limited to 10 rounds.
Gun sales, tracked by the Attorney General's office and forwarded to Target 12 indicate 2470 guns were sold in December of 2012. 1434 guns sold in December 2011. That's a 72 percent increase in one year.
Attorney General statistics also show that in ‘12, 17,525 guns were sold. That was up from 12,562 in '11, a spike of just under 40 percent.
Police say 20 year old Adam Lanza killed 20 children between the ages of 6 and 7 at Sandy Hook Elementary on December 14. 6 adults were killed, including Lanza's mother before police say Lanza killed himself.
A Rhode Island gun store owner tells Target 12, his spike in December sales started after the Connecticut shooting. He says increased demand also contributed to shipping delays. He ordered a box of 30 round magazines the day of the Connecticut shooting. They were delivered this week, taking about 3 weeks longer than before the shooting.
Police say Lanza used a Bushmaster .233. Gun store owners say that is among the weapons that is in especially high demand. One store owner remembers the weapon selling for about $1400 before the shooting but now retailing for almost twice that. He said people are fearful the Bushmaster and other semi-automatic weapons will be banned.
Gun control legislation is in the works on Smith Hill but one of the sponsors says she doesn't expect a draft of the measure until March.
"We are working on a number of elements," District 34 Rep. Teresa Tanzi says. "Magazine capacity, controlling certain semi-automatic weapons and the licensing procedures are all in the mix."
Copyright WPRI 12
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