Gun sales up in Utah, nation after mass shooting in Orlando

Posted at 8:49 PM, Jun 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-15 22:49:14-04

SALT LAKE CITY – Gun sales are soaring after a mass shooting in Orlando that has been described as the deadliest terrorist attack on U.S. soil since 9/11.

Gun sales in Utah have been higher the last few days, which is something gun store owners say is common across the nation after a mass shooting.

"I don’t think it’s so much the shootings that do it, but the rhetoric after that comes from Congress,” gun sales manager Dave Larsen said.

But Utah House Representative Brian King says the key to safety is actually collecting more information.

“Is there something in common with many of these mass killings that allows us to make progress in reducing the number, by keeping better track of who owns those kinds of guns, or doing universal back ground checks—things like that," King said. "I think that’s worth looking at.”

But many who speak in defense of Second Amendment rights say more regulations would only mean less accessibility for responsible gun owners looking to protect their families.

"That’s what’s going to maybe end these things a little faster,” Larsen said. “The best way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."

Lawmakers like King think there's a way to make everyone happy.

“I’m not interested in getting into a debate where people just retreat to their sides of the ring because they think that, you know, we start putting labels on people,” King said. “Oh, they’re pro Second Amendment or they’re anti-gun or whatever—that doesn’t help. What we need to do is be reasonable.”

King is calling for a movement to lower gun related deaths, the way traffic related deaths were reduced.

"We improved technology,” King said of efforts to reduce traffic related deaths. “We improved education. We improved the commitment of people to take reasonable safety precautions. We can do that with guns. We’re not doing enough of it. We need to do more."

Lawmakers here say they want to have more conversations and gather more information, so that the legislation that does come forward will be most helpful to everyone affected.