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Arizona gun sales skyrocket after Conn. shooting

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."

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About the Author


Position: Senior News Reporter. Started with KTAR July 4, 1999.

Favorite food: Steak and shrimp, and any food on campouts.

Favorite spots in Arizona: Pinetop-Lakeside, Alpine, Greer.

Favorite news memory: The Wallow Fire in 2011 became the largest fire in state history. Rodeo-Chediski Fire in June 2002, which is the second largest fire in Arizona. The 2007 Southern California Firestorm and being at Sky Harbor Airport when the first plane lifted off several days after 9-11. Seeing the American flag on the tail of the Salt Lake City-bound Delta airliner as it took off still gives me goosebumps.

Favorite movies: True Grit, both 1969 John Wayne classic and the remake with Jeff Bridges -- which was outstanding --, Lonesome Dove.

First job: Spinning records at KLER Radio Orofino, Idaho 1980.

First concert: KISS/Cheap Trick 1977 Spokane, WA Coliseum.

Sports Teams: Washington State University Cougars, The University of Montana Grizzlies and Texas Rangers.

Outside interests: Sports, camping, fishing, traveling.

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