Gun sales up after Connecticut shooting
By Joe Moskowitz
The way many of us look at guns changed on December 14, 2012. On that day 20 elementary school children in Newtown, Connecticut were among those murdered by a man armed with a semi-automatic assault rifle.
The shootings have sparked not always friendly discussions about gun ownership, mental health care, and school security. It has also resulted in a huge increase in business for at least one local gun shop.
Ray Zullin owns Ray’s Sports shop n Route 28 in Fleischmanns. This reporter had to wait to talk to him because a customer was stocking up on ammunition and other accessories.
The customer, who appeared to have a strong New York regional accent, asked as an afterthought if Ray had any .223 caliber cartridges for sale. That’s a caliber commonly used in semi- automatic assault rifles. Zullin said he had one case left, but was reluctant to sell the entire case because he said they were getting tough to come by. The customer, saying they were impossible to get where he is from, bought half a case for $250.
Zullin says prior to the Connecticut shooting, business was slow. But that all changed in an instant.
The customer returned. I identified myself and asked him where he was from. He didn’t want to answer, then said he was, “from around here.”
I asked Zullin why business is so brisk. Zullin, and the customer answered simultaneously. “People are buying because they may not be able to get them much longer.”
Zullin says that immediately after the Newtown shooting he sold all of his semi-automatic rifles, except for a couple of .22s, and has had more than 20 people call trying to buy bigger guns. And he says that some ammo, even for hunting, can be difficult to get. Handgun sales remain slow. Handguns require a permit, making it more difficult to legally purchase one in New York.
The customer said there are no problems with the people who are buying the guns legally.
Zullin says, “Now everybody wants a gun.” But, he says he has no idea how much longer the laws will allow so many people to purchase one.