CO Gun Sales Spike After Aurora Theater Shooting

By Andrew Lu on July 24, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

After a mass shooting that killed a dozen and injured more than 50, you might think people would shy away from guns. Think again.

In the wake of the movie theater shootings, Colorado gun sales have gone through the roof. The biggest jump in background checks came the same day as the shooting.
It seems to be a common American reaction after violent massacres.

So Colorado residents have decided to fight fire with fire - and background checks are the first step in the process.

Background checks for people wanting to buy guns in Colorado jumped more than 41 percent after the shootings, reports The Denver Post. Like in many other states, you need to pass such a background check before you can legally purchase a gun.

Generally, the background check will weed out certain categories of potential gun purchasers including convicted felons, people convicted of domestic assault or abuse, illegal immigrants, and the mentally ill.

Besides the background checks, anecdotal evidence also supports the spike in gun sales. A gun shop worker said he arrived to work the morning of the shooting and was greeted by a crowd lined up at the door. Similarly, an instructor at a firearms class said that courses are now booked solid for weeks after the tragedy, reports the Post.

The gun debate is a fierce one in our country right now. Hard questions are being asked, like: Is arming yourself with weapons the best course of action? Even if you had a handgun in that theater, could you have stopped James Holmes in a smoke-filled theater with hundreds of people scrambling for their lives?

Still, the spike in Colorado gun sales and background checks follow a similar pattern after most mass shootings, reports the Post. After Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot in 2010, background checks in Arizona jumped 60 percent. There was also a similar spike after the shootings at Virginia Tech University in 2007.

Related Resources:

Copied to clipboard