Connecticut gun stores sold more than 19,400 firearms last month, an increase of 71 percent from the previous year, and guns are selling so fast in this state that some retailers are reporting dwindling supplies and waiting lists for weapons, according to a report in the Hartford Courant.
The run on guns in this state is following a national trend in the wake of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown on Dec. 14 that killed 20 young children and 6 women who worked at the school.
Since the shootings the state has established a task force to look into the issue of gun violence and the need for gun control, and President Barack Obama also has appointed a special commission to look into the same issue.
Gun permit applications are also on the rise. According to a recent article by the New Haven Register, "About 170,000 people in Connecticut have them, and the number of individuals seeking them has increased in recent years."
The Register reports that 5 percent (1,407) of Branford residents have a gun permit. Branford Police Captain Geoff Morgan it seems gun permit applications are on the rise in town, though he said, "it's hard to pinpoint because of the recording process."
Morgan said he has seen a "steady incline since Barack Obama took over the presidency, but it's been a lot more escalated since Sandy Hook."
In addition to more permits being handed out, he has also seen more permits going through the entire process with more applicants coming back to be fingerprinted. Morgan said that with the increase, he has also seen the turnaround time increase to 10 to 12 weeks.
The Newtown massacre and the call for limits on some weapons have have touched off a state and national debate on the need for gun control, with gun advocates complaining any limits would be an infringement of constitutional rights.
While gun sales are usual higher in December because of the holidays last month's sales were unusually high even for the season. They were up 53 percent over November's sales, compared to the 34 percent increase between November and December of 2011. Sales of assault-style weapons, similar to the gun Adam Lanza used when in the Newtown attacks, have been particularly brisk nationally, the newspaper states.
Connecticut Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, along with U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty, D-Fifth District, are said to be working together on a bill they want to introduce today that would ban such assault weapons, according to another report.