Gun permits up in Conn. town where 20 school children shot

Aug. 1, 2013 at 2:23 PM
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NEWTOWN, Conn., Aug. 1 (UPI) -- Gun permits have surged in Newtown, Conn., where 20 children and six adults members were killed in a school massacre in December, government records indicate.

A review of local records found 203 people in Newtown had received pistol permits through July 24, 32 more than in all of 2012, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

The Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection authorized the sale of 127,000 guns in 2012, more than double the number in 2000. The agency has authorized the sale of 91,098 weapons statewide in 2013.

In Newtown, views on the hike in local gun permits range from affirmation to sadness.

"It's sinking in to some folks that 'I need to take responsibility for keeping my family safe'," said resident Bill Stevens, 48, an avid hunter and gun owner.

Dave Ackert, founder of a group advocating for gun control, said the increase is troubling.

"If you look at how many guns the Lanza family had in their home and what that led to, it's a recipe for disaster," he said.

Adam Lanza killed the children and six faculty and staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School after shooting his mother with one of several guns she kept at home.

National surveys have found fewer people had guns in their homes in 2012, and the increase in gun sales is largely attributable to people who already own guns buying more, said Daniel Webster, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research.

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