Lawrence gun sales climb after Connecticut school shooting

The display case at Walmart, 3300 Iowa St., shows shortages of numerous kinds of gun ammo, including .223 caliber rounds, the same kind used in the recent school shooting.

Amid calls for tighter laws on the sale of guns in the wake of last week’s school killings in Connecticut, local gun stores are having trouble keeping firearms and ammunition in stock.

“Oh yeah, I’m selling them left and right,” said Dustin Pope, assistant manager for Jayhawk Pawn and Jewelry, 1804 West Sixth St.. “It’s the AR-15 style mostly. But we are looking to be out of everything.”

On Thursday afternoon, the Walmart at 3300 Iowa St. was out of stock of several kinds of ammunition, including .223 caliber rounds, the same kind used in last week’s school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. The Walmart at 550 Congressional Drive experienced similar shortages, according to its website.

Pope said he has never seen guns sell so fast and that customers were buying mostly assault rifle-style weapons because of fears of increased gun regulations.

“Everyone is worried about assault rifles right now, but after that everyone’s going to go for the high-cap hand guns – everything that holds more than 10 rounds,” he said.

On Wednesday, President Obama called for a ban on the sale of assault weapons as well as high capacity ammunition clips.

The gun sale spike is not just a local phenomenon. The Associated Press reports that numerous states, including Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Illinois, have experienced a huge surge in gun sales or requests for background checks because of new gun sales in recent days.