Gun dealers across the U.S. are reporting a sharp rise in concealed handgun license inquiries in the wake of three mass shootings in recent weeks.
Dealers in El Paso have been so busy, three said they literally did not have time for an interview due to all the new appointments.
“After a shooting, people are reactive and they feel vulnerable and scared, and they want to be able to carry a firearm to protect themselves,” says Houston gun enthusiast Derek Ybarra.
“Whether it happens in Texas or California, or anywhere, the scared feeling is a universal feeling,” he says. “It doesn't matter what the state law is, people just want to be protected.”
Tom Gresham, host of Gun Talk, Sundays on KPRC AM 950, says there's also a mad rush whenever gun control becomes a hot topic in D.C.. He's been inundated with calls and emails.
“Typically the first question is what gun should I get? And the answer is always you don't need to buy a gun yet, you need to buy a lesson. Then you can buy a gun. Because right now you don't know what you need.”
Gresham says each potential gun owner has their own unique set of circumstances to consider.
“If you have kids in the house, how are you going to store a gun safely? Do you plan to keep it just in the house? Do you plan to carry it with you? If so, how are you going to carry it? How do I load it? How do I move? How to do I reload it? What do I do if I get a jam?”