Proposed Law Changes Leading to Run on Guns?

(NECN:  Lauren Collins, Hooksett, NH) -  John Matousek drove more than an hour to buy .223 caliber ammunition, the kind that goes in an AR-15 rifle.  He can't find it anywhere else.

“People are panicking,” he says. “They're afraid that ammunition availability is going to be very scarce.”

The president's proposals may prompt more panic buying, though gun owners have been stocking up since Obama took office.  Everyone we talked to at Riely's Sport Shop in Hooksett, New Hampshire says the current debate is the same old rhetoric.  

“One side seems to think that by limiting access to large capacity magazines or particular style-looking rifle, that some how the perpetrators of heinous acts will be inhibited from doing their dastardly deeds,” says Riley’s owner Ralph Demicco.  “Those of us on the other side say it doesn't matter what you ban, there are still plenty of others out there.”  

Sales at Reily's have more than doubled since the Newtown, Connecticut shootings.  Many customers had never bought a gun before.

Communities across the state have also seen an increase in the number of applications for gun licenses.

“We're at about 37, so far, seventeen days into the month of January,” says Hooksett Police Chief Peter Bartlett.  

The town of Hooksett only received 24 the entire month of January last year.  But applications aren't the best indicator of gun ownership, they're only required if you want to conceal carry.

“Guns in the hands of the right owner need to stay there,” says Riley’s customer Dave Beauchamp, who is originally from Connecticut.  

Those gun owners generally agree on two things about the young men at the center of the nation's recent tragedies, they were mentally ill and, “They were not legal owners,” says Matousek.  “I don’t think legal gun owners should be paying the price for a situation that they did not cause.”  

Instead, they believe any new laws should put a priority on addressing the people who carry out unimaginable crimes.  

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