AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – Denver metro area gun shops say they’re seeing a spike in business and more people taking gun safety classes after Sunday’s shooting at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin and last month’s incident at the Century Theater in Aurora.
Since the shootings, applications for conceal carry permits have jumped through the roof. There’s been a doubling in Arapahoe County and quadrupling in Douglas County the week after the theater shooting.
The sheriff’s office says some of those permits may have been in the works beforehand. Still, gun shops say people are buying guns for personal safety. Many are first timers, and many are women.
It was the first time out for Gina Williams on Tuesday.
“I’m here to do some practicing, shooting, getting more confident with the weapon and being comfortable actually having it with me,” she said.
Williams said a big reason has to do with the recent tragedies in Aurora and Wisconsin.
“Some of these incidents recently just happened and I thought, ‘Well, I had an interest before, so why not step it up a little bit,’ ” she said.
“I would say, certainly we’ve seen an increase of business between 25 and 30 percent,” said Richard Taylor, manager of The Firing Line indoor shooting range and gun shop in Aurora.
Taylor says a good chunk of the increased business is first-time gun owners, and the demographics are all across the board.
“We also have a lot of older couples, their first firearms purchase, maybe 65 or 70; they’re concerned about home invasions or something like that,” Taylor said.
According to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, background checks for gun sales rose 41 percent in July when compared to July of last year.
Williams says she’s ready to buy her own handgun and wants a conceal carry permit.
“I want to defend myself,” she said.
For Williams’ fiance, it brings peace of mind.
“Especially knowing that we’re going to come in here and practice … I know that she’ll know how to use the gun and she’ll have it with her to protect herself,” he said.
Women are finding some VIP treatment as well. For example, The Firing Line offers a free day for ladies to shoot. Another range features gun safety classes designed just for women.