Berkins said he wonders how many of the applicants will actually go out and buy a gun. Only a few applicants get turned down for permits each year, he said.
Victor Benson, who owns the Freedom Shoppe gun store in nearby New Milford, said business has tripled since the school shooting. Some of the customers are first-time buyers, he said.
“It’s just the mentality of people when you tell them that something is going to be banned, well they want to get one while they still can,” Benson said. “We’re all upset about what happened in Newtown, but it doesn’t mean … we want to have our rights taken away.”
The killing of 20 first-graders and six staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School has led to proposals for universal background checks and bans on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines.
The gunman, Adam Lanza, killed all of his victims at the schoolhouse with a Bushmaster semi-automatic rifle that he took from the house where he lived with his mother Nancy Lanza. He killed his mother at their home earlier and used a handgun to kill himself.
The FBI conducted more background checks for firearm sales and permits to carry guns the week following the Newtown shooting than it has in any other one-week period since 1998. The second-highest week for background checks came mid-January as President Barack Obama announced sweeping plans to curb gun violence.