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An AR-15 assault rifle is shown at AZFirearms.com. (Jim Cross/KTAR

PHOENIX -- A Newtown, Conn. school shooting has apparently pushed Valley residents to purchase more firearms.

AZFirearms.com in Avondale saw sales over the weekend triple from the typical weekend. The big sellers were handguns and AR-15 semi-automatic rifles.

Cheryl Todd with AZFirearms.com said some of the rush could be the holiday shopping season, but not all. The customers were a mixture of people looking for personal protection and people who fear that gun restrictions are coming.

"Some people expressed to us that they wanted to buy a gun while they still can," she said. "We saw families shopping together. These are middle mainstream Americans, not people you would expect on the fringe."

Dan Todd said some customers are worried about the possibility of gun restrictions and new laws. He didn't see this level of sales or concern about gun restrictions following last summer's shootings at a theatre in Aurora, Colo.

Todd said he feels Americans are going to see an attempt to reinstitute the Clinton-era assault weapons ban that expired in 2004.

"I don't know if [gun control advocates] are going to be successful," he said. "It's not needed, but that's what some people who are uneducated about firearms want to do."

Jim Cross, Reporter

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