Colorado massacre linked to jump in handgun-license requests in King County
Applications for concealed-handgun licenses tend to increase after high-profile shootings — and the recent Colorado shootings were no exception, according to the King County Sheriff's Office.
Seattle Times staff reporter
The King County Sheriff's Office says the number of applications for concealed-handgun licenses jumped Monday, the first business day after 12 people were killed and 58 injured by a gunman inside a suburban Denver-area movie theater.
The office processed 41 new concealed-weapons licenses Monday, 22 more than it processed the previous Monday, sheriff's spokeswoman Sgt. Cindi West said. On Friday, the day of the shootings at a Batman sequel, "The Dark Knight Rises," in Aurora, Colo., 29 applications were made.
"Whenever there's a big, major, tragic event like what happened in Colorado, there will be a bump in people seeking permits. That's what we suspect the reason is," West said.
John Clarke, a firearms instructor at Wade's Eastside Gun Shop in Bellevue, said: "We haven't seen any uptick in our business the last couple of days. In general, summers are slow at the gun store. It's probably because people go water skiing or mow their lawns in the nice weather."
Clarke said sales are up at the shop this year compared with 2011, which he attributed to a rise in violence across the region. Clarke also said that an increase in sales is not unusual during presidential-election years.
Dave Workman, editor of TheGunMag.com and a local gun-rights advocate, said in an email that "distance does not matter when people are concerned about personal protection."
According to The Associated Press, background checks for gun purchases spiked 41 percent in Colorado after the movie-theater killings.
In the four days after the shootings, dealers submitted 3,647 requests for state background checks required to buy a firearm, said Susan Medina, a spokeswoman for the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.
That's 41 percent more than the 2,583 requests during the same four days the week before and a 38 percent increase over the 2,636 checks during the first Friday-to-Monday period in July.
Jennifer Sullivan: 206-464-8294 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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