Meck Co. gun permits skyrocketed in December in wake of Newtown - | WBTV Charlotte

Meck Co. gun permits skyrocketed in December in wake of Newtown tragedy


Gun violence and gun control have been a hot button issue since the massacre at Newtown. New numbers show since that tragedy, more people are buying guns in Mecklenburg County.

We just got a look at the latest numbers when it comes to gun permit applications in Mecklenburg County and they have spiked sharply in the wake of the Newtown, CT tragedy.

Business is booming at Hyatt Gun Shop in West Charlotte.

Owner Larry Hyatt says it's been like that ever since the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre that claimed the live of 26 people including 20 children.

"We're not getting enough product in to meet demand," he said.

The latest ones from the Mecklenburg County Sheriff's office underscore that demand.

According to the department, gun permit applications skyrocketed in December.

In the two weeks before the mass shooting there were 671, but during the two weeks immediately after, the number jumped to 1300.

"Our Christmas business actually suffered because of the Newtown business," he pointed out. "The threat of gun control put so many customers in that they were buying what they thought might be banned that it sort of crowded out the Christmas customers."

Hyatt also told WBTV he isn't surprised by the increase.

"A lot of people who were thinking about buying a gun, they said I better buy it know," he said.

Folks like Eddie Belk and his wife, both first time gun owners.

"We're buying now because we're afraid we won't be able to buy later," he said.

While Belk says their hearts go out to the victims of Sandy Hook, he believes stricter gun control laws aren't the answer.

"One gun at Sandy Hook Elementary could have stopped it before it got anywhere near the point it got to," she said. 

Hyatt also told WBTV they have actually started limiting the number of boxes of ammunition that customers can by for certain guns, particularly the more popular ones. He says otherwise, they wouldn't be able to keep them in stock.

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